Feature Article - July 2008
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Splash City Roadmap

Trends in Aquatic Design & Programming

By Kate Bongiovanni

Learn to Program from the Masters

Well-known for its family-friendly water activity, YMCAs across the country have a myriad of activities to please every member beyond the learn-to-swim and swim team crowds. Each location may offer a different assortment of classes for beginner, intermediate and advanced fitness levels. Here's a sampling of some of the creative programming available at the Y:

SHALLOW WATER AEROBICS AND WATER WORKOUT: Part of the seniors aquatic programming at Seattle-area YMCAs, these classes help maintain cardio and muscle strength using the water's resistance and buoyancy and flotation devices.

H2O STRENGTH TRAINING: Available at the Mission Valley YMCA in San Diego, this class helps with body sculpting and toning while strengthening muscles and uses equipment like bells and fins.

ARTHRITIS EXERCISE: The Arthritis Foundation teamed up with the YMCA to offer this program specifically addressing the needs of those living with arthritis. Participants perform exercises in warm water, which helps relax muscles and joints, while stretching and strengthening the entire body.

STRETCH AND FLEX: Another class option for those living with arthritis as well as for people experiencing joint and muscle discomfort. It takes place in warm water and helps to increase flexibility and fitness.

MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS EXERCISE: Designed for those living with MS, this class helps to improve range of motion, and increase strength and endurance. Found at the St. Cloud Area Family YMCA in St. Cloud. Minn.

HYDRO HEALING: Another class found at the Mission Valley YMCA, this is designed for participants dealing with chronic health conditions such as fibromyalgia, Parkinson's disease or arthritis and helps to maximize joint movement and mobility.

AQUA POWER: Available for adults at the YMCA of Greater Seattle, this program combines workouts in deep and shallow water with aqua jogging, triathlon training and intervals.

PRE-NATAL WATER AEROBICS: Being pregnant doesn't mean sitting around waiting to give birth for students at this class offered at the YMCA of Greater Seattle. Geared toward mothers-to-be, the class incorporates low-impact cardio in a social and educational setting.