Water work outs

Bonnie Warner runs in place during the Water Aerobics class offered 8:15 - 9:15 a.m. at the Yosemite High pool.
Bonnie Warner runs in place during the Water Aerobics class offered 8:15 - 9:15 a.m. at the Yosemite High pool. Sierra Star

In a sea of swaying arms, kicking legs, and foam-wrapped dumbbells, the women, wearing oversized sunglasses and colorful hats to shade faces, chatted comfortably during their morning exercises.

They stretched, ran in place, did scissor and leg kicks, walked with exaggerated steps, and since they were in a pool, a few threw in a little swimming for good measure.

This is the first year Robin Kessler, 67, has attended the Water Aerobics classes offered at the Yosemite High School pool. While she’s thoroughly enjoying herself, she can’t help but wonder what she’ll do once the pool closes for the summer.

“It’s such subtle exercise,” Kessler explained. “You don’t feel like you’re working that hard because of the buoyancy of the water, but when you walk back to your car after class, you feel those muscles, and go ‘oh, I guess that was a good work out.’”

A faithful attendee since year one, Franci Pasley, 59, has Muscular Dystrophy.

“This is exercise I can do without injuring myself,” Palsey said, “so for two months of the year, I feel good. I just wish this was offered all year long.”

Lora Haws, 63, has Multiple Sclerosis. “I can’t run on land, but I can run in the water. I notice a difference in my mobility after class ... I have better flexibility and better balance.” She has attended classes for three years.

Colleen Thome, 74, called the water aerobics classes the best exercise program ever because it doesn’t hurt her joints or back.

“Besides, it’s lots of fun, and it’s nice being with people my own age,” Thorne said.

Water aerobics is known for body buoyancy at chest level, with 85-90% body support. Water provides more resistance than air, so results come faster than when doing the same workout on land, and water helps improve flexibility and balance, with most experiencing a wider range of motion.

Offering a moderate level of physical fitness, this type of exercise is good for all ability levels.

Holding hands, Carol and Jennifer Cox walked across the length of the pool several times after the others had moved into the deeper end. Jennifer, 33, has Down Syndrome and must stay in shallower waters. Her mother Carol said exercising in water has been great for Jennifer, that it’s made a huge difference in reducing her depression.

Gaining momentum and popularity in the 1980s, water aerobics has not only proven to relieve depression, stress and anxiety, but also builds cardio, strength and resistance, is easy on the joints, increases flexibility, and reduces blood pressure. The noticeable added bonus is keeping cool during these long, hot summer days.

The hour-long class is offered 8:15 - 9:15 a.m., Monday through Friday ($4 daily, $15 weekly, or $30 monthly).

Details: Lindsay Adler, (559) 683-4667, ext. 335.