Fort McCoy News September 13, 2013

Aquatics classes offer workouts for all abilities

STORY & PHOTO BY GENEVE N. MANKEL
Public Affairs Staff

Fort McCoy's Rumpel Fitness Center offers free classes for individuals of all skill levels and abilities.

The Aqua Fit class, taught by aquatics instructors Julie Pressler or Patrice McGinnis, and Adult Swim lessons taught by McGinnis are offered.

Photo for aquatics article
Patrice McGinnis instructs an Aqua Fit class at the Rumpel Fitness
Center indoor pool. Aqua Fit classes are offered Mondays and
Wednesdays from 4:30 to 5:15 p.m.

Pressler said the Aqua Fit class can be adapted to suit a variety of class styles.

"We left the class description wide open to have lots of possibilities," she said. "One day might be a boot camp-style class, and another might be circuit training, deep-water training or Zumba. They can all fall under the Aqua Fit umbrella."

Pressler and McGinnis are certified Aquatic Exercise Association Aquatic Fitness Professionals. The certification allows them to teach aquatic fitness classes to general populations, Pressler said.

Pressler and McGinnis, who both have extensive aquatics experience, said a recent five-day recertification training session introduced new class ideas and teaching methods to them.

Pressler has been a lifeguard since she was 15 years old and was as an Aquatics director at an Army facility.

She said the aquatics dance, yoga, cardio and strength-training ideas she experienced during the certification training can be incorporated into the Aqua Fit class.

McGinnis, who was an All-American competitive swimmer in college and a private coach to college swimmers, said she valued the little tips and tricks given during the training.

"Learning things like using body language so you don't have to talk a lot while teaching a class was great," she said.

Pressler said aquatics classes can benefit people of all fitness levels. Aquatics classes are low- to no-impact workouts that help people do things they wouldn't normally be able to do outside of the water, she said. The buoyancy of the water reduces a person's weight, allowing them to move more easily and reduce stress on joints, tissue and muscles.

"A diverse population can participate," Pressler said. "Aquatics is great exercise for people who have injuries, are overweight, or pregnant, as well as people who are in good shape."

Shawn Eckelberg, a Fort McCoy CYSS employee, has been attending aquatics classes at the fitness center for more than 10 years. Suffering from neck problems, she needs a workout that is low-impact but still makes her break a sweat.

"It's fun to see Soldiers attending the class for the first time who think it's going to be easy," she said. "They get a good work out too. It's harder than it looks."

Lisa Perry, with the Directorate of Human Resources, has been consistently attending Aqua Fit since the pool re-opening earlier this year. She said she gets a great workout especially during deep-water exercises.

Pressler said accessories, such as webbed gloves, are available in the pool area to increase the intensity of a class.

The indoor pool at the fitness center allows classes to be offered year-round. "It's a great way to exercise on a hot day," Pressler said.

Jane Meeusen, a Fort McCoy Family member and regular Aqua Fit class attendee, said she gets a great workout from the class.

She has come to know many of the class attendees and enjoys the fun workout amongst friends.

"(Aqua Fit) is emotionally and physically beneficial," she said. "The endorphins from the workout are great."
McGinnis said the Adult Swim lessons are available for all swimming abilities.

"I can help competitive swimmers, people who want to swim for physical fitness, swimmers who want to learn or work on new strokes or people who don't know how to swim," McGinnis said. "Swimmers just need to show up as often as possible."

McGinnis said one of her students learned to swim in eight weeks with a lot of practice.

"She wanted to learn to swim for her daughter's birthday pool party, so we didn't have a lot of time," she said. "She surprised everyone at the party."

Aquatics classes are available to military ID or Common Access Card holders including military personnel, retirees and immediate Family members, and Department of Defense civilians, retirees and immediate Family members, and Fort McCoy contractors.

Anyone under 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult.

Registration for the classes is not required.

Aqua Fit is offered Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:30 to 5:15 p.m. and Adult Swim is offered Fridays from 4:30 to 5:15 p.m. Class schedules are available at the website www.mccoymwr.com/home/fitness.html.