Water Workouts Doing Wonders for Garrity
She’s only been taking the Aquatic Conditioning class for a few months, but Kathy Garrity says she’s already feeling stronger, more flexible and more energetic.
That’s important because she needs to be able to keep up with the little ones in her care. Garrity, who formerly worked as a teacher’s aide for the Rockland Public Schools, is nanny to a 3-year old and a 10-month old Monday through Wednesday, and also watches her 9-month-old granddaughter, Maeve on Fridays.
While familiar with South Shore Health’s Community Exercise Program – she participated in the Mindfulness and Movement class for about a year – Garrity had not tried a pool class until a friend encouraged her to take the plunge in October.
“I absolutely love the class,” said Garrity, who attends Aquatic Conditioning Monday and Wednesday evenings after work.
The class combines total body stretching and strengthening combined with cardiovascular activities designed to help build endurance and muscle strength, boost energy and improve flexibility.
The program is hitting on all cylinders for Garrity and she’s feeling the results.
“I was just telling my friend, this class is so good for us,” she said. “I love that it’s good for all your muscles and there’s no pressure on your joints in the water. It has to be better than stomping around on the ground as a workout.”
Garrity said she appreciates the convenience of the evening sessions and would add a third class if she could fit it into her schedule.
The later sessions are part of a recent expansion of the aquatics program, said Community Exercise Program Director Jennifer Logan. “We’ve added late afternoon and evening classes that go until 7 p.m. – perfect for people who want to work out after work,” Logan said.
All of the Community Exercise classes – land, pool and virtual – are led by exercise therapists and suited for all ability levels, Logan added.
And according to Garrity, Aquatic Conditioning is a great workout. “We’re going the whole time during the class,” she said. Garrity credits the class with giving her more energy and endurance and better flexibility.
“When I wake up in the morning, I feel like I’m not as stiff and I have more energy. I feel like it makes you more limber.”
It has also eased the arthritis pain Garrity feels in her joints. “I have arthritis in my hips, knees and neck – it’s all over,” she said. “Joint problems run in our family.”
After having joint replacement surgery on her left hip six years ago, Garrity said she was expecting she would eventually need to have the right hip replaced as well. But the pool classes are helping her put that off for now.
“I think it’s really helping my hip, it hasn’t been bothering me lately,” she said. “I really haven’t had any problem with it since I started the pool classes.”
Garrity’s only complaint about her water workout comes at the end of the hour-long class.
“The only thing I don’t like is when we have to get out of that warm water,” she joked. All of the aquatics classes are held in South Shore Hospital’s 92-degree therapeutic pools.
“I’d recommend pool classes for anyone who wants to improve flexibility, move more easily and have more energy," Garrity said. “Self-care is important. It’s just a good thing to do for yourself.”