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Water Fitness and the Y

Low impact water fitness can have a huge positive impact for people with joint or back issues, as evidenced by the growing popularity of water exercise classes. Charlie Appleby, a member of the East Shore Branch for over 50 year, is a case in point.

For almost 10 years Charlie has been dealing with back and leg issues. His doctor told him he was not a candidate for surgery. A neurologist in Pittsburgh, to whom he was referred, offered to perform surgery but would not guarantee improvement. After discussion with his wife Susan, Charlie decided to delay surgery until there were no other options. From 2007-2010 Charlie underwent rigorous physical therapy.

Last September Charlie decided to try an aquatic regimen. He says getting started was easier than he thought. He took swim lessons with Y swim instructor Gerry Sechrist and began to attend the water fitness classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings.

“One of the main benefits for your joint from water workouts is that they will get more flexible and enjoy a greater range of motion,” says Aquatics Director Dee Fisher. “Because of the reduced stress on your joints,” she continues, “you may be able to do exercises in the water that you can’t do on land.”

“The aquatics classes put much less stress on my body,” says Charlie. And while water exercise is not a cure-all, Charlie reports that, while he still deals with his back and leg issues, he is experiencing much less pain.

As part of our focus on healthy living, the YMCA offers an abundance of fitness opportunities to make sure everyone has the opportunity to get fit and stay healthy.

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