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Julie Says

Dec 26, 2016 01:02PM ● By Julie Ross

Julie Ross


If you can tell me what physical activity involves eggbeaters, paddlewheels, and happy frogs, chances are I see you a few times a week. And we are wet, sometimes chilly, but always working out with a smile.


A few years ago, I liked to exercise three times a week at the Pleasant Hill YMCA. Each day, I moved the equivalent of an adult elephant using various weight machines, followed by a session on the treadmill watching music videos. (Usher and I would likely never have gotten together without VH1 at the Y.)


After a shoulder injury put a damper on my weight lifting fun, I quit the gym and spent a long time relying on walking and hiking to keep in shape until I discovered the new love of my life (no, not referring to Usher; that was years ago, only one song and I have completely moved on). I am talking about water aerobics, again at the Y.


It’s a place where “Who wants noodles?” is not an offer of a high-carb snack but pool noodles, used in creative ways to stretch and strengthen muscles. There is a menu of moves, including “wooden soldier,” “rocking horse,” “pendulum,” the challenging “starfish,” and a fancy “wax on/wax off” move. (No exercise regimen is complete without the special lingo.)


The outdoor pool at the Y is heated to a (usually) comfortable temperature, so the water classes are held year-round. Yes, even in January. Rain or shine. There are two morning classes plus one afternoon and one evening class offered every weekday and one morning class on Saturdays and Sundays. Each instructor has a different style and choice of workout music, from show tunes to classic rock.


In addition to the regular water aerobics classes, there is a high-intensity interval water workout offered once a week for muscle building, as well as a deep-water class, where participants wear floatation belts and exercise suspended in the deep end of the pool, which makes for some tricky moves but is easy on the joints.


The Pleasant Hill Y has undergone some major renovations since I went several years ago. Aside from the pool, there is a large gym with a truly impressive amount of state-of-the-art workout equipment, a cross-fit gym (the one with the giant medicine balls and whatnot), spin classes, aerobics, Zumba, and something involving a darkened room with mats. Meditation? Adult naptime? Not sure -- you will have to come check it out for yourself.


I’ll bet you have a New Year’s resolution that could have something to do with the YMCA. No time like the present to find a new love.


Happy New Year!


You can reach Julie at [email protected]