Water aerobics sees increased attendance


by Cassie Norman

Simpson Intramurals has seen an incredible surge of people trading their gym shorts for swimming suits as it has once again begun its water aerobics class.

The pool has become the hot spot on campus every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at 9 p.m.

Water aerobics has been offered at Simpson for at least five years, but its popularity is new this year. Previous participation numbers were in the single digits. Junior Kelsey McKimpson, water aerobics instructor, is teaching the class for the second year. She’s surprised by the increase in people but is also happy about it.

“I’ve been so shocked,” McKimpson said. “Last year there were only three people. This year, you’re guaranteed 20 to 30 people.”

She has seen a lot of new faces this year and said many first-year students are becoming really involved. Nicole Darling, assistant director of Student Activities and director of Intramurals, also accredits the surge to the fact that typically people attend the classes in groups.

“It takes a group of people,” Darling said. “There’s seems to be a good group of people who want to try different things.”

This latest workout craze to hit Simpson’s campus has attracted men as well as women. The men are still the minority, but a few devoted participants keep coming back. Sophomore Ben Williams has never taken a water aerobics class in his life, but started going with his roommates from the Political Science house. The house is jumping into the pool because they want to get in shape. Williams is having fun but admits it is a rigorous workout.

“It’s a pretty intense workout,” Williams said. “My legs are sore at the end of the day.”

Senior Becka Neary, water aerobics instructor, has been teaching the class for four years. She feels the men are returning because of the advantages to the workouts.

“I believe they realized the intensity and diversity in muscle groups that are worked in water rather than in the weight room,” Neary said.

Water aerobics is comparable to normal aerobic exercises but also provides many benefits. One advantage to being in the pool is that most people, regardless of age, are able to participate. Water aerobics’ other benefit is that participants are able to work every muscle and every joint in the body at one time.

The classes usually last around 45 to 50 minutes. The first 15 minutes are devoted to high energy cardio exercises, including plyometrics. Another 15 minutes are spent doing kicks and stretches. The last 15 minutes are spent in the deep end doing what is known as the “dirty dozen,” a series of 12 high-energy moves. After that, the group finishes by cooling down.

This year five instructors have been hired to teach the classes. Two are returning to be in front of the class with three fresh faces also leading the way. Williams acknowledges the great work done by the instructors.

“The instructors are really good,” Williams said. “They know what they’re doing.”

Intramurals will continue to offer water aerobics three nights a week until April. The steady flow of people coming to the classes for the last month may indicate that these numbers will continue. McKimpson feels the attendance will remain good.

“Everyone seems to be enjoying it,” McKimpson said. “They want to come again.”