Water aerobics helping locals beat heat

With temperatures climbing toward triple-digits, the opportunity to mix exercise with a tried and true way to beat the heat has been a boon to the 20 to 30 people who have made a habit of attending the water aerobics classes being offered at the Hillsboro Family Aquatic Center.

Course instructor Anna Woods teaches classes for seniors on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and a ?more advanced class? on Wednesday evenings.

Woods started instructing water aerobics classes in Oklahoma while attending college, and has taught water aerobics for four years.

?I teach a lot of land classes all year round, and doing water aerobics is a nice change,? Woods said.

?There?s a lot of people who can do the water aerobics who can?t do the land aerobics, and its nice to help people be able to exercise,? she added.

Ages in the evening class range from mid-20s to mid-50s, and the morning classes range from 65 to 90.

Agnes Bernhardt, who is in her 80s and regularly attends Woods? morning classes, said one of the advantages of water aerobics is ?the feeling that the water is helping you with the exercises.?

?It kind of lifts you,? Bernhardt said. ?It?s a good way to get your exercise.?

?Anna has classes on Tuesday and Thursday after lunch, and you can do that, but this is much easier,? she noted.

Dale Winter attends the evening class with wife Rachel.

?We?re the only couple I know of that does this together?sometimes I refer to it as our date night,? he said.

Winter?s wife attended Woods? land courses during the school year and played an integral part in getting him involved.

?When Rachel found out about the water aerobics class, she tried it and encouraged me to come,? he said. ?I can?t work out running on pavement, and working out in the water is a lot better.?

?I love water, being in the water, being able to cool off and get a little exercise,? Winter added.

In addition to the low-impact exercise environment provided by the pool, personal attention provided by the instructor has helped keep Winter coming back for more.

?Anna is really good at adapting the program to help you work on the muscles you need to work on,? he said.

?She does a good job of tailoring it to what each person needs, and there?s people of all ages who participate,? he added. ?It?s great because you don?t have to push as hard as some people do, and (Woods) will adapt the routine to you.?

Setting aside the time for the workout is not hard, according to Winter: ?Its about an hour or an hour and 15 minutes, so it isn?t a long span of time?but you?ll get your heart rate up and you?ll get some muscles to be sore.?

Having attended once, Winter is hooked.

?This is the first water aerobics class I?ve ever done, and I enjoy it to the point of wishing the pool could be available for it year-round,? he said.

The Wednesday night class begins at 8 p.m. and costs $2. The fee for each session at 10:45 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday is $1. Both the morning and evening classes will be offered through Labor Day.

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