On Tuesday evenings, I lead a water fitness class. Using specific flotation belts, the participants are able to run in deep water. No swimming ability is required, There is no contact with the bottom of the pool, so the workout is essentially zero impact. Additionally, the water is cool (rarely cool enough for my tastes, but plenty cold for everyone else), and the cooling effect allows me to exercise at higher intensity for longer periods of time. No balance is required!!
We generally work for between one and two hours on cardio fitness, some muscle strength, range of motion, and gait/form. I get great feedback from the participants, and we have a blast.
Simultaneously, in the shallow end of the pool, there is another instructor leading a water aerobics class. This session targets older participants, many with arthritis, joint pain, and weight issues.
Both groups are benefiting from the joys of exercising in water: young/old, strong/impaired, fit/struggling!
I only wish I had a way to specifically invite participants with MS or other movement challenges to join my classes!
If you have the opportunity, please do some research on water fitness activities in your area. I wish you could ALL come to my class!!
If you have access to a pool, but need advice on what to do once you get there, comment and I will be happy to communicate some ideas on getting started!