Water aerobics course strives for energetic workout

Kim Boessen, bottom, leads her Tuesday water aerobics class through some warmup exercises.

Kim Boessen, bottom, leads her Tuesday water aerobics class through some warmup exercises.

T.J. Gerlach

One fitness program at Missouri Southern is making waves.

Cindy Webb, wellness coordinator for campus recreation, said she took over teaching the water aerobics class when she came to Southern four years ago.

“The biggest draw [of the aquatics] is it takes away the vertical impact on the joints,” Webb said. “A lot of people that have trouble doing land exercises can get in the water and work hard and very intense and it will not bother them.”

Webb said water aerobics is a “very resistive” exercise since people work against the resistance of the water. She said it helps with flexibility.

The classes usually spend about 45 minutes in the water. Webb said the class typically begins with a rhythmic warm-up to get over the water’s chill. Most of the exercises are cardiovascular, which elevates the heart rate and moves the large muscle groups.

“Generally, you can get a lot of muscle balance because you’re not working against gravity,” Webb said. “You have to push and pull more equally in the water.”

She said water aerobics is not just for obese people or people in rehabilitation. Though water aerobics is considered for people who cannot exercise on land, those who can workout on land can get a more intense workout in the water, Webb said. It is an intense workout, even for “in-shape” people.

“The key to the water aerobics, in a nutshell, is you get out of it what you put into it,” she said.

“I think water aerobics is good because it works the muscles without straining you,” said Michelle Klund, sophomore special education major.

Klund decided to participate in the program after her roommate was already in it.

“It looked like fun,” she said.

There are three sections of the program offered. The first is an academic course taught by Webb through the kinesiology department. This course will satisfy students’ physical activity requirements.

The other two sections of the program are open to the public, though students and others associated with the University usually fill those classes.

Webb teaches one course midday, twice a week, and Kim Boessen, senior secondary education-physical education major, teaches an evening course, also twice a week.

Boessen said she started teaching the course for experience.

“It’s a good way to be affiliated with the school and with the wellness program,” Boessen said.

She said she enjoys teaching the class she would like to teach it again in the fall, but said she will “just have to see.”

Webb said the open classes usually have about 10 people enrolled.

Kristi Brown, Southern alumna, took the class both for exercise and to spend time with friends and coworkers.

“It gives you a natural high,” Brown said. “And it tones you.”

“You can make it intense or you can make it easy,” Webb said. “But it is good for everyone.”

For information on the aquatics class, or any of the campus’s wellness programs, contact Darren Fullerton, director of campus recreation and wellness at 625-9392.