As we launch our first Swim The AL Rivers Challenge here at the UAB Campus rec center, I want to turn to our very own Susie Bagwell, M.A.Ed. and a certified professional through the Aquatic Exercise Association to answer a few questions relating to fitness and training in the water...
Susie Bagwell, M.A.Ed., AFA AFPC
Aqua Xtreme Instructor
Aquatics Personal Trainer at UAB CRCT
Personal training in the water can include rehabilitation, meeting a personal fitness goal, learning to swim, or learning how to use the properties of water to get the most out of your water workout. The key word is “personal.” The training is geared toward the goals of individuals and includes an analysis of current abilities and physical fitness in order to set attainable goals. Personal training sessions result in progress because the trainer can provide successful strategies and practices to help the client take responsibility for their fitness while providing support and encouragement.
Who would be the best candidate for receiving personal training in the water?
The best candidate is anyone who needs assistance in understanding how exercise in the water environment can improve their cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, muscular strength, and flexibility. Those who are fearful of the water can overcome their fears by learning how to work with the water instead of viewing it as a dangerous medium.
Describe a typical water exercise session.
Normally I work with one or two individuals. We set a schedule that is based on the availability of both parties. The personal training sessions usually last an hour. Exercises are geared to make improvements on the targeted areas of fitness. I give clients a set of practice skills to work on between sessions in order to maintain our momentum in reaching the set goals. The progress of the individual is linked to one’s degree of desire, diligence, and delight in seeing results.
What if I can't swim?
You do not have to know how to swim to participate in water exercise. Many of my clients are not swimmers but are learning how to enjoy and use the properties of water. By working with a water safety instructor, individuals can learn to overcome their fears and lack of knowledge little by little until they feel comfortable and successful in their swimming and water acclimation abilities. Learning to exhale, balance, align, extend, relax, and move creates a sense of accomplishment. Learning to swim increases one’s enjoyment of water environments, enables the effective use of the water to maintain a healthy level of fitness, and decreases the possibilities of drowning and water related emergencies.
Never give up on yourself!
Don’t miss out on the wonderful benefits of water exercise. Splash into fitness!
Susie Bagwell, M.A.Ed., AEA AFPC