Water aerobics combine fitness and fun

Joan Kemper, center, leads a water aerobics class.

Recently I was fortunate enough to be invited to observe a water aerobics class in session. Instructor Joan Kemper of Bay Village was surrounded by a group of fun ladies who come together to improve their physical condition through water aerobics while socializing and sharing laughs. 

The idea of water aerobics is not a new idea yet it is quickly becoming a popular way to get physically fit. The pool water offers a more gentle and relaxing way to perform exercises while still challenging the muscles.  

I attended the private class in Avon with a pre-notion that water aerobics was for the “less than active” person. I quickly discovered I was misinformed. Although done in an ideal calm setting, the workout that Ms. Kemper put the ladies through was a non-stop routine of leg lifts, jogging across the pool, push and pulls, knee lifts, scissor kicks, stomach crunches and jogging backwards. And that was all before they added the weights! Your body is in constant movement during the whole class. If you don’t think you will get a good workout from water aerobics, you are mistaken.

I was also reminded that water was our first environment before coming into this world. Our comfort in this natural state, and the buoyancy provided by the water, increases the ability to move freely without restraint.  

Because of that buoyancy, 70 percent of our body weight is left on the deck while we exercise. The resistance of the water requires nine times the strength of that same movement through air, and the hydrodynamics of being in a pool increases cardiovascular activity by 33 percent.

The camaraderie of the women in the pool and the casual laughter added to the charm of the entire class. Each participant is left with the same feeling of good health and well being that follows an invigorating swim or a playful pool splash.

Ms. Kemper is an ideal instructor. Her gentle ways and calm voice adds to a workout that has clear direction and seamless instruction. Everyone worked at their own pace and it was nice to see there were no forced rules to push anyone past their own comfort level. I enjoyed spending time with these lovely ladies. 

It appears they have the right idea: fitness combined with fun. What an ideal way to improve your physical stamina.  I want to thank Sol, Pat, Marilyn, Shirley, Bill and Sandy, and especially Joan Kemper, for allowing me to be a part of their class. And thanks for enlightening me to another fun way to become physically fit.

The Bay Village and Westlake recreation departments offer various water aerobics classes. Visit bayrec.org or wlrec.org for schedules and details.



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Volume 4, Issue 16, Posted 10:27 AM, 08.07.2012