By Cindy Wright, RN\r\n\r\nDid You Know? Modern swim instruction was invented at the YMCA? Maybe that\u2019s why so many people have learned to swim at the Y, and continue to come back to enjoy our outstanding facilities. At the YMCA, our Aquatics Programs are not only about swim instruction, but also water safety, fitness, exercise, and fun for everyone.\r\n\r\nBenefits of Aquatic Exercise\r\n\r\nMany people think that exercising in the water is just for those who are injured, aging, overweight, or lazy. Nothing could be further from the truth! While special populations do get many benefits from the water, anyone who is willing to put forth the effort of aquatic exercise, can build muscular strength and endurance, cardiorespiratory endurance, flexibility, and improved body composition. Plus, exercising in warm water increases blood supply to the muscles, increasing energy while decreasing blood pressure.\r\n\r\nDeep Water Exercise\r\n\r\nDeep water exercise accommodates all fitness levels. Deep Water exercise requires the entire body to be suspended without foot support from the bottom of the pool. This is done by using a flotation device such as a belt that is buoyant enough to keep the chin above water. Deep-water training is the ultimate calorie burner and since there is no impact, there is less chance of injury with more of your body under the water. By moving with a similar speed in shallow water, deep water will be more intense due to more resistance with creates greater muscle mass.\r\n\r\nExercising in the water can be so much fun, and can be a great alternative or addition to land exercises. The Alleghany Highlands YMCA offers many choices for water exercise including shallow water and deep water classes, as well as lap swimming. Our varied schedule is accommodating to all who would like to participate.\r\n\r\nFor an ideal and safe form of working out for just about anyone, we encourage you to try our water exercise classes. Our instructors are certified by IFTA, (Interactive Fitness Trainers of America), a nationally recognized certification program that gives them a more in-depth understanding of how and why the body moves to insure that you are exercising safely and more effectively. Please visit our website at http:\/\/www.alleghanyhighlandsymca.org for a virtual tour of the facility and see for yourself the many programs we offer. We are also on Facebook under Alleghany Highlands YMCA.