Water workouts draw a crowd

Water exercise classes — made free through sponsorships from Allen County Regional Hospital and Thrive Allen County — have attracted large crowds to the Iola Municipal Pool each Tuesday and Thursday. Megan Cole is in her third year of teaching the classes, which will run through Aug. 1.

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Sports

July 10, 2024 - 2:43 PM

A group of swimmers uses kickboards during a water exercise class Tuesday at the Iola Municipal Pool. The classes are offered free of charge, courtesy of sponsorships from Allen County Regional Hospital and Thrive Allen County. Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

You’ll be amazed at what you can burn in the water, Megan Cole said.

Calories, that is.

Cole teaches a water exercise class from about 5:45 to 6:30 p.m. each Tuesday and Thursday at the Iola Municipal Pool.

Attendance has spiked this year — Cole’s third — largely courtesy of sponsorships, first from Allen County Regional Hospital and now from Thrive Allen County, making them free for anybody wishing to participate.

“It’s a matter of getting people out and moving their bodies,” Cole said. “The turnout has been great.”

Roughly 30 show up each week for Cole to lead through a variety of exercises.

“We work on a little bit of everything,” she explained. “We’ll do mobility, strength, stretching, we’re gonna do some cardio.”

Mobility is a key focus because “we’ve got kind of an older group,” she said.

No two classes are the same, with one exception. They’re all geared to be fun.

“I usually tell a stupid joke to start,” she said. “It’s usually ridiculous, and it usually helps. The music is fun, too.”

Even those who show up in sour moods are usually smiling by the end of the workout.

“How can you not be in a good mood in the pool?” Cole asked.

Local doctors and physical therapists have taken note, prescribing some of their patients to attend Cole’s workouts.

“There are so many possibilities in the water,” she said. “We get a lot of people who’ve had knee or hip replacements, or ankle troubles, even nerve damage.”

Mostly, attendance has grown through word of mouth.

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