The Mid-Maryland Musculoskeletal Institute (MMI), your local experts for everything related to muscle, bone and joint care, has a unique way to help you succeed with your New Year’s resolution to get into shape in 2015.
In conjunction with the Kids First Swim School located in the FSK Mall, MMI now offers Aquatic Exercise Classes. This marks the first endeavor of its kind for the orthopaedic practice as it joins forces with a local sport facility to offer a fast growing and popular exercise option to residents of the Frederick area.
All exercise has a range of health benefits, but water-based work-outs can be a fun way to bring variety into your exercise routine while taking full advantage of the benefits that the buoyancy of exercising in water provides. MMI’s Aquatic Exercise Classes build cardiovascular fitness and strength. Just like swimming, water exercise classes are easy on your joints, yet challenging enough to help you reach new levels of fitness.
Instructor, Jennilee Ambush, Occupational Therapist with MMI, teaches the classes Monday and Wednesday mornings. The 10:00 AM class Low-Impact Water Exercise is designed for those with limited mobility or injuries, while the 11:00 AM Cardio Fitness class is designed for those looking for a low impact, high cardio exercise option. When asked Ambush said “Because of their low-impact format, our Aquatic Exercise Classes are ideal for those who have pain when doing most land based exercise such as people suffering from low back pain, arthritis, or injuries to the lower extremities. It’s also beneficial for those preparing for, or recovering from hip, knee, or back surgery. Without the limitations of gravity, the water helps you to become stronger, reduce pain, and provides the ability to do more in the pool than on land, resulting in a faster recovery.”
The association for the two organizations began in 2014 with the launch of an Aquatic Therapy Program for patients at MMI. Ambush works with many developmentally delayed children and found that the benefits of therapy in a warm water pool allowed for increased participation, range of motion, strength, endurance, and balance. The idea to expand to adult exercise classes for the general public seemed to be the next logical step for the energetic Ambush who is a former swimmer and lifeguard. Ali Fox, manager of the Frederick location noted that “Kids First Swim Schools offer these classes at most of their locations but they are operated by staff of the swim school. The opportunity to have an occupational therapist like Jennilee managing and teaching the classes is a real bonus for our Frederick patrons. Our warm water pool is ideal for these types of classes, especially during the cold winter months.”
The Aquatic Exercise Association reports that you can expect to burn 400 to 500 calories per hour when exercising in the water. Additionally, water offers 12 times the resistance of air, which helps to improve muscle strength. Ambush utilizes simple devices such as hand-held paddles, foam noodles and kickboards in the classes to add further resistance increasing the intensity of the aquatic workout.