Water hydrates during workouts and it also can be a fitness tool, according to the City of Nanaimo parks and recreation department.
The city has aquafit programs available at Nanaimo Aquatic Centre and Beban Park pool and Michial Seginowich, city aquatic coordinator, said exercising in water is low impact and the buoyancy of water is good for those with injuries.
“The other benefit of it is it also creates some resistance, so it helps increase your mobility and strength, especially after times if somebody that has been in an accident and they’re doing rehab or they’ve had surgery or elderly, or it also creates a really good workout for somebody that really wants to get something out of it, some good cardio out of it too,” said Seginowich.
There are five aquafit classes available:
Therapy – Therapy Aquafit is a slower-motion class targeted for older people, like ones with arthritis, and for those who have had surgeries and joint replacements.
“It increases the mobility in the water,” said Seginowich. “The buoyancy takes the weight off of their joints as well, so they can float in the water a little bit more, but they put as much pressure as they need to and each time they do it, they can put a little bit more. There’s a lot of benefits to it.”
Core strength – The class is a lower-impact class focusing on the core, said Seginowich.
“So the stomach muscles, if you have lower back pain, it helps you stretch the lower back area, so that’s its main focus. A lot of good movement in the water for that one,” he said.
Shallow water – This is more of a high-intensity, cardio workout. You can put in what you want out of it, said Seginowich.
“You can really get a good workout out of it, or you can slow it down if you are not quite used to it, but in the build up to that as well. Lots of faster movements, just like riding a bike in the gym, get a good sweat out of it, so it’s really good,” said Seginowich.
Deep water – Since classes go in the deep end, there is no impact. Participants wear flotation belts and there are water-running exercises and movements and resistance in the water. A lot of runners will take part in deep water aquafit, Seginowich said.
Diaper fit – Available only at Beban Park, the class is for parents with babies aged six to 18 months old.
“We have floating dolphins that we can put the babies in and they can get a good workout of that as well, so it’s very similar, I would say, to the shallow-fit/core class and sitting their in the water with their babies, so it’s a pretty cool one,” said Seginowich.
For more information, visit www.nanaimo.ca.