Nichole Hannahs

It’s Never Too Late to Get in Shape

by Nichole Hannahs on August 8, 2014 at 6:45 am

Some local residents support the saying that age is just a number. This week I took part in the Muskingum Recreation Center’s Senior Splash water aerobics class. The women and men there proved it’s never too late to get in shape.

Senior Splash is by far one of the most popular classes the Muskingum Recreation Center Offers.

"There’s never a lull in anything," said participant Coleen Ohlinger. "You can go as hard as you want or as soft as you want. I just enjoy it."

"It’s not only physical but kind of a mental thing," added Barb Armstutz. "You got to think of what you’re doing. I just find it really refreshing."

Both Ohlinger and Amstutz began working out after being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. Doctors told the pair that losing weight was a must. Both also have artificial knees and found working out on land could be difficult at times.

"I think it’s easier in the water. I do a couple cardio classes a week and sometimes I sneak in a Silver Sneakers class. I just like the water," said Ohlinger.

"There are a lot of things you can’t do," said Armstutz. "I find out in the water there’s not really much I can’t do."

Instructor Karen Allen said that’s because water makes it easier to move.

"When you’re in the water you’re only about 30 percent of your weight," said Allen. "It gives you a liberating feeling. Some of them feel like they’re back being a kid again."

Since seniors in this class all have different levels of mobility each move can be adjusted based on their skill. The moves also help them with basic tasks they do every day like being able to get out of a chair or open a jar.

"I want to make sure that they’re comfortable with what they’re doing," explained Allen. "They should never be unsafe or go against their doctors wish and if they ever feel as though their heart rate is too high or they’re uncomfortable they should stop."

"We lose muscle mass as we get older and lose just the ability to be active," said Ohlinger. "I just don’t want to give up yet."

Armstutz said, "I think it’s the greatest thing God ever invented. I’m really grateful to be able to do it."

Ohlinger’s happy to report that since beginning to exercise in January she’s lost 32 pounds and dropped her sugar from 190 to 112. She said she intends to keep it up.