Water aerobics helps ease back, joint pain

Residents of Palm Lakes Estates in West Melbourne enjoy an aerobics class in December.

Easy movement in the water makes aerobics swimming exercise a pleasant health benefit.

The exercise is effective for people of all ages, but it’s especially beneficial for those 55 and older.

One senior group can be found bouncing and bobbing at 9 a.m. six days a week and at 5:30 p.m. three nights a week in the pool at Palm Lakes Estates in West Melbourne.

"I have 10 or 11 playlists made up and usually start off with a slower song to warm up, dragging frisbees up the side of the pool wall or warm up directly in the pool," said Joyce Mayer, an instructor who has been teaching the classes since May 2018 every day but Sunday.

Mayer’s musical selections match the intensity of her workout that might feature the use of foam dumb bells and rubber bands with handles to use in higher intensity exercises. During the winter season, there are 12 in the class. There are fewer during the summer months.

"We also use two frisbees in the pool. As you are running with them, you push and pull as performing the cross-country ski exercise," Mayer said. "We do Pilates. I took yoga for many years. Twenty minutes of the class are yoga moves. The last of the class is yoga relaxation, so it really helps a lot."

A variety of music creates the mood from swing, 1960s and 1970s American pop, rock and roll, hits from Chicago, the Beach Boys and all in between. Mayer has done yoga, dance classes and worked on Zumba routines. Mayer said that being in the pool has saved her after she sustained a back injury.

"I had injections in my spine and left work from the north," Mayer said. "I felt I had to leave very stressful work at a hospital. When I got here, I came down to the pool every day. Once I started doing aerobics classes, my back was not bothering me anymore."

Other class members, too, have found relief from various back and joint problems.

"It is a great joy for me to do it."