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The new year is traditionally a time for new resolutions.
Health goals are common as people are ready to make changes after months of holiday eating, stress and lack of exercise.
“One thing to focus on would be to add a fitness program to a person’s life, especially if they aren’t active, to get active,” said Lynn Grawien, a certified group fitness instructor who teaches at Appleton Parks and Recreation Department.
Grawien and other Fox Valley fitness experts have messages for the new year and how to start it off right.
There is a misconception that aqua classes are just for active older adults or those recovering from surgery, Grawien said.
“I always tell people to come, try a class and you tell me after class your thoughts on how you feel,” she said. “They usually are very surprised of what a good workout it really is and how good it is for the mind, body and soul, plus how much fun we have doing it.”
Grawien has been teaching regular aqua classes for more than 10 years. She also has been teaching aqua zumba as well as regular zumba.
“I always tell people if they like to dance, they’ll love zumba, especially in the water,” she said. “It’s a total different kind of workout because in the water you lose all your body weight so even though you’re not thinking about it, you’re constantly using your core muscles to push and pull your body through the water, which is also constant resistance all around you.”
With aqua zumba, there’s resistance all around you, she added, noting that the benefits are evident out of the water.
Aqua exercise is also easier on joints while offering cardio and strengthening. In regular aqua classes participants can add challenges with aqua bells, resistance bands, balls, noodles, kickboards and more.
“So you’re working muscles in different ways all the time,” Grawien said.
Take a class
“Even if you’re not a classes-type person, think about changing your routine for a few months,” said Lisa Welko, president and founder of Ellipse Fitness.
People may prefer to work out at home, but “you may not be as likely to push yourself past a plateau and it’s also easy to skip a workout, as there’s no one holding you accountable,” Welko said. “You can also risk injury or overuse if you’re not getting expert advice.”