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By Marjie Gilliam, Contributing Writer, Monday, May 11, 2009

For those who find it difficult to perform traditional strength training or aerobic activities, water exercise just may be the answer.

  • Cynthia Brooks, teaches rehabilitative exercise classes in Beavercreek, using a warm-water therapy pool (94 degrees).
  • Brooks is a certified Hydro Pilates and Silver Splash instructor, with a master’s degree in physical education and aquatic therapy, rehab institute training.
  • passionate about spreading the word of water exercise and its benefits

“I’d like to see everyone give water exercise a try,” she says.
 “It’s the most effective rehabilitation being practiced, and its therapeutic properties have been nothing short of miraculous.

“The warm water helps those with joint problems/replacements, back problems, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and those who want to work on Hydro Pilates.

“I teach people how to strengthen, stretch and improve balance, as well as work on gait training and extensive “back hab.”

Relaxation methods such as Ai Chi and Watsu are also used.

The pool itself is 4½ feet deep and has a treadmill, resistance jets and a massage wand. It also has gymnastics parallel bars that allow for Hydro Pilates exercises.

People that can barely move on land experience real joy in the water simply by moving.

  • Patients try it because of the buoyancy and resistance properties of the water.”
  • Rehabilitative water exercises improve overall fitness levels by increasing flexibility (range of motion) and muscular strength.

Being in water allows for ease of movement, making it an ideal activity for those with joint problems or other conditions that may prevent them from engaging in other forms of exercise.

  • Folks who are recovering from an injury or surgery find aquatic exercise especially beneficial.
  • Warm water rehabilitation is wonderful for managing pain and is used by those with multiple sclerosis, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, post-op spinal fusion, spinal stenosis and shoulder adhesive capsulitis, as well as for weight reduction.
  • Athletes also use water exercise as a compliment to their training.

“Most of the stresses and fatigue felt in the body are the result of poor posture, strength and/or flexibility imbalances and incorrect breathing patterns.

“The majority of water exercises initiate movements from the abdominal, lower back, hip and buttock areas, flowing outward to the extremities.

“You simultaneously stretch and strengthen the body, creating a habit of relaxed effort to follow,” she said.

“This type of exercise is kind to the body, invigorating and ultimately relaxing.

“The water allows for quicker progress due to less pain, which in turn produces greater enthusiasm and motivation to continue.

Brooks’ clients love the sessions and are able to move in the water with much more freedom than they can on land.

“Anyone can benefit from rehabilitative water exercise. It can be performed by young and old alike, healthy and not-so-healthy, and women who are pregnant,” she says.

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