WEIRTON – The Weirton Board of Parks is pleased to announce the launch of Aqua Active, a new water class designed specifically to meet the needs of the physically challenged. The class will be held at the Weirton Millsop Community Center (WMCC) swimming pool.
Aqua Active classes will be held each Tuesday and Thursday from 1 to 2 p.m., featuring instructor Holley Faulkner, who’s work with the Rock Steady Boxing program at WMCC spawned the class.
“The genesis of this class is really rooted in the Rock Steady Boxing program, although these are two separate and distinct programs,” Park Board Executive Director Coty Shingle said. “When you see the results Holley and his volunteer coaches are able to produce in the Rock Steady workouts, it’s hard not to imagine how we can assist physically-challenged individuals in their effort to get stronger and more confident through other avenues. To us, a water class seemed like the next logical step.”
This pool-based exercise class is designed for adults who want to increase flexibility, muscle strength, balance and cardiovascular development in a fun, low-intensity environment. Faulkner says the pool provides the perfect atmosphere to grow confidence in those who might ordinarily feel physically unsteady.
“The aqua environment often gives more confidence to people who might think they can’t exercise because of their physical limitations,” Faulkner said. “You put them in the water using different techniques and elements of training and it really adds confidence, even if they don’t see big gains in physical strength, they gain the confidence and balance to continue working out.”
While the staff of WMCC are using this program to help further the benefits of Rock Steady Boxing, it is important to note that Aqua Active has no formal connection with Rock Steady Boxing, the major difference between the two programs being that Rock Steady requires a Parkinson’s Disease diagnoses, while Aqua Active is open to any person who may experience movement difficulties based on injury, disease (i.e., Muscular Dystrophy, Parkinson’s Disease), or age.
“As we watched our boxers in our Rock Steady Boxing workouts, we began to realize what a powerful tool water training could be for those who struggle with physical disability,” Park Board Program Director Chris Krishak said. “From there it was just a matter finding the right program fit and working out the logistics. We’re excited to see what a great benefit this can be.”
Like Rock Steady Boxing, Aqua Active is designed for each participant to have a coach or a caretaker to assist them during the class.
Although Aqua Active is a low-intensity workout, all participants are encouraged to get a signed medical release or written authorization from their physician prior to enrolling in the class. All class participants will have to sign a waiver to be eligible to attend the class.
The cost of each session is $6.00 for non-members of WMCC, which includes the required day fee. WMCC members can take part in the class for $1.00 for WMCC. Caretakers and coaches for participants may enter free of charge.
For more information, call WMCC at (304) 797-8520.