Personal trainer Sharon Steele works with clients suffering from arthritis in both one-on-one sessions and group training programs. She is certified by Aquatic Therapy and Rehab Institute, the Aquatic Exercise Association and the Arthritis Foundation. Sharon believes that developing a regular exercise routine is extremely important when you have arthritis.  Exercise preserves strength and flexibility, and can help shed pounds and reduce pain.  Activities like walking and running can be too jarring on joints.  Participants in water workouts experience less pain and increased flexibility making it easier to handle everyday tasks. A water workout is a wonderful way to stay active while actually protecting your joints!

The benefits of aquatic exercise:

  • Water’s buoyancy reduces the impact on your joints.
  • Working out in water can help improve cardiovascular fitness, balance, and range of motion.
  • The heated pool environment can help sooth painful joints.
  • Water also has greater resistance than air, which means working out in water requires more effort and ultimately burns more calories than working out on land
  • Water workouts can decrease levels of depression
  • Aquatic exercise can improve overall health status and social activity.

If you are new to water exercise and cannot swim, do not worry.  There is no swimming required.  Our arthritis exercise program is designed for everyone!

What you can expect from an aquatic class focused on relieving arthritis:

The session are divided into six segments: warm up, joint mobilization, muscular strength and endurance, cardiovascular endurance, balance and coordination, and cool down with relaxation.

Participants learn to move better with less pain. It takes a couple of weeks for muscles to strengthen and improve mobility. In the following weeks, muscles gain muscle memory, easing pain and making movement easier.

Members who have participated in aquatic exercise share their experience:

“The training program strengthened my hips and core and helped stabilize my balance and increased my confidence!”

“After multiple knee and ankle surgeries and a back operation, I was depressed, stiff and I felt as if my body just didn’t work. I was uncoordinated and I lacked balance. Halfway through the class I experienced an enormous improvement. I can’t wait to see the end results!”

“After participating in Sharon’s arthritis program I regained pain-free, full range of motion in my shoulder. Before the class my shoulder pain was so bad I couldn’t lift a dinner plate into the dishwasher!”

If you are looking for a safe and effective workout that is gentle on your joints, look no farther than PWC’s pool!

Thanks to personal trainer Sharon Steele for sharing her thoughts. If you’d like to schedule a personal training session with Sharon or participate in her next small group aquatic training program for arthritis relief, please contact fitness manager Patrice Barklund, pbarklund@culpeperwellness.org or 540-445-5395