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SpringRidge Residents Make a Splash About Fitness
01-6-2020

Shirley Treadwell and Sue Hand didn’t have to think long about one of the things that initially stood out and attracted them to SpringRidge at Charbonneau: the heated, indoor pool!

“My friend moved to SpringRidge and told me I had to visit and look at the pool,” explained Shirley, who has lived at the active retirement community for almost four months. “When I saw how large and bright the pool was during a tour of the community, I was sold! Being indoor and year-round, it was far different than the outdoor pool I was used to in McMinnville.”

Shirley uses the pool “as often as possible” and is particularly fond of the Ladies’ Water Exercise class offered Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 9 a.m. She credits the class, led by Charbonneau resident and volunteer fitness instructor Helen Heestand, with providing a full-body workout, helping her to achieve her fitness goals.

“One of the focuses of the class has been breathing techniques,” she said, “I’ve never been taught the importance of deep breathing exercises, and now I realize what a difference it makes both in and out of the pool.”

Participants, known as the “Water Babies,” are reaping the many documented health benefits of exercising in water, including cardiovascular stamina, increased blood circulation and improved flexibility and strength.

“Water fitness keeps you mentally and physically sharp and plays an important role in longevity,” said Helen. “We’ve had people who could barely walk because of a bad knee or back problems regain their mobility. I enjoy seeing all the wonderful progress everyone makes.” said Helen.

Sue, a SpringRidge resident for over two years, knows firsthand the many benefits of water aerobics, having participated in classes for nearly three decades.

“I knew I wanted to continue making water fitness part of my exercise regimen. I really get a good workout when I go in the pool, and it’s so easy on my body,” she said. “People don’t realize water fitness gives you just as good a work out as working out on ‘land.’ You burn calories and sweat though you probably notice it less since you’re in the water.”

In addition to the physical aspects of the class, there’s also a social element. The ladies have developed great friendships with fellow “Water Babies.” The group recently hosted a holiday party, and Helen jokes it was so much fun seeing everyone in “something other than their bathing suits.”

The Ladies’ Water Exercise is just of the many opportunities for health and wellness available at SpringRidge. The community offers Aqua Aerobics on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and the robust fitness calendar includes everything from yoga and tai chi to line dancing.

“I’ve never been so spoiled and pampered, nor have I ever had such a variety with unlimited options for exercise,” said Shirley. “I attend the Get Fit class twice a week too. It’s also had a positive impact on my overall health.”

As people across the country set fitness-related New Year’s resolutions, Shirley, Sue and Helen encourage older adults to take charge of their health.

“It’s hard to get started but take the first step,” advises Helen. “Don’t overthink it. If you want to try a water aerobics class but worry you can’t keep up, just try it. No one knows what’s happening under the water if you miss a move or two.”

Sue concurs: Don’t be intimidated. Join a class. It will be lots of fun! Join us for the Ladies’ Water Exercise class. Don’t be concerned about how you look in a bathing suit. Our focus is on moving our bodies and improving our health!

To learn more about SpringRidge at Charbonneau and our wealth of onsite fitness options, please call 503-446-6250. 

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