The Hub December 2016/January 2017 - Page 8

Angelica Haggert As the weather turns colder, the inclination is to curl up under a blanket and binge watch your latest season on Netflix with a cup of tea. Fight the urge to be sedentary this winter season - jump off the deep end instead. Okay, I don’t mean actually jump of the deep end. But the winter months are a great time to take up a new aquatic activity. From solo laps to water walking to aquafit to floating yoga, Windsor-Essex has plenty of water offerings on tap - and what better time to do it? It seems like getting in the water has a been a popular theme over the last year in Windsor-Essex. The last few weeks of November I have (like the swimming geek I am) watched the construction progress of the new temporary pool at the WFCU Centre. We’re home to two competitive swim teams that have produced 2016 Summer Olympic medalists like Kylie Masse. County towns like Leamington, Kingsville and Essex have their own swim teams. We’ve hosted FINA diving, celebrated the success of local Olympians, and are set to host FINA 25m World Finals. We have a whole host of local pools to jump into. The Vollmer, the Windsor International Aquatic and Training Centre, Gino A. Marcus, the WFCU Centre, the Essex Recreation Complex and the F.T. Sherk Aquatic and Fitness Centre in Leamington are some of the many options available to Windsor-Essex residents. Along with just being something to do, there are a number of health benefits to getting moving in the water. Increased muscle strength (without stress on sensitive joints), Windsor International Aquatic & Training Centre St. Clair College Aquatics Atlas Tube Centre Essex Recreation Complex F.T. Sherk Centre Vollmer Recreation Centre Gino A. Marcus YMCA - Central Park Athletics improved posture and balance, greater mobility and flexibility, and improved endurance are just a few of the many perks related to exercising in the deep blue. If you’re looking for a slow step into the water, check out water walking. Done in the shallow end, your feet never have to leave the floor of the pool. It’s the perfect foray into the water for someone who isn’t fully comfortable or used to swimming. Moving as quickly or as slowly as your abilities or the class demands, you can get your whole body into the workout, including using floating weights to add an upper body workout. If you’re up for the challenge, try an Aquafit class. Hub editor Shelley and I went into it thinking we’d do great … well, we did it and that’s what counts! Traditionally, an Aquafit class is comprised of older water enthusiasts, so my high school swim team self thought I’d do awesome. They’re a lot more difficult than they look folks - trust me! Bring a water bottle, and all the stamina you have. It’s a great activity because you can put as much or as little into it as you want, depending on how hard you push yourself through the exercises. If you’re a solo style exerciser, snap on the goggles and stop by any of the many open lane swim opportunities in Windsor Essex. The easiest stroke to get you started is free style (what most people would call front crawl), but you can also Google quick YouTube videos for the other strokes. The new YMCA at Central Park Athletics offers a unique program. Called FloatFit, the program tests your fear of making a splash, plus your balance and core strength with exercises performed on a floating yoga-style mat attached to the laneways in the pool. If you’re new to the water, or less sure of your abilities, there are even opportunities for adults to receive swim instruction. Check out the offerings at the University of Windsor or St. Clair College. Sessions typically begin in January, but private lessons may also be available. Whether you’re getting your fins wet for the first time or already swim like a fish, indoor swimming can be just the activity to help you conquer the winter doldrums. Join me at the pool - I’m the one with the goggles! Where are you exploring this autumn? Tell us about it! Use the tag #ExploringMatters on Facebook and Twitter to let us know! 8 The HUB -December 2016/January 2017