3 Use Water Aerobics Class To Stay Healthy

Three students of the Boys and Girls Club Water Aerobics Class have been attending for a combined 30 years. From left are the students Angie Baggiano, Pat Boland and Ida Bauer. The trio enjoys the flexibility allowed to relax the body and mind in water aerobics. P-J photo by William Mohan

Any person at any age can enjoy activities in the water.

That is how three ladies feel about the Adult Water Aerobics class at the Winifred Crawford Dibert Boys and Girls Club of Jamestown. For almost 30 years combined, water aerobics students Angie Baggiano, Pat Boland and Ida Bauer have been attending classes and enjoying time in the water. Between 25 and 30 members are at the class at any given time.

However, what makes the trio stand out is that they are still enjoying water aerobics all this time. Pat Boland and Bauer are in their 90s and Baggiano is in her 80s.

“The fact that people in their upper 80s and 90s have continued to be healthy by doing activities is amazing,” fellow water-aerobics student Sue Boland said.

Sue Boland is also the mother-in-law of Pat Boland.

Water aerobics is a resistance-training exercise that enables individuals to stretch their muscles and joints in cardio and other areas of the body. It is normally performed vertically in water that is waist high or deeper.

“There is no pressure on joints because the buoyancy in the water allows greater flexibility,” Sue Boland said. “They are usually here twice a week when Boys and Girls holds the classes.”

The group comes from diverse backgrounds. The trio also has a wide variety of motives for attending the classes. For some it was means to exercise on their free time. For others it was recommended for their health by their doctors.

Bauer previously owned a small business that dealt in household and state liquidation sales. It was upon her retirement in 2005 and subsequent downsizing of her home that led her to find she had more time. However, she said she only began attending the classes in the last two years.

“I had more time. I wanted something to do and I needed exercise,” Bauer said. “This gives you exercise and fun.”

Baggiano was a hairdresser before she was diagnosed with breast cancer. In the wake of her radiation treatments and other recovery treatments, she had water aerobics recommended to her.

“My doctor told me I had to do it,” Baggiano said. “People thought I was crazy when I told them I was doing it.”

Baggiano also admits that in addition to water aerobics, she also plays bocce. She has been taking the classes for nearly 20 years.

Pat Boland was previously a teacher in Hamburg and had already been practicing water aerobics there for 33 years. In 2012, she moved to Jamestown to be closer to her son and daughter-in-law Sue Boland. She has been attending classes in Jamestown for seven years.

“The exercise I think is mentally and physically,” Pat Boland said. “The program is excellent.”

She also cited the lessons given by water aerobics instructor Alex Wooleen as excellent.

“I think the aerobics has helped me and prevented me from having any arthritis,” Pat Boland said.

When asked what benefits the group gets from water aerobics, each person also had a different response.

“It is stress free because it allows you to work at your own pace and your aches and pains are relieved in the water,” Pat Boland said.

“It is hard to separate what I enjoy more between the physical and mental benefits,” Bauer said. “The comradery is great.”

“I enjoy it,” Baggiano said.

Registration for the fall Adult Water Aerobics class is now taking place. For more information call the Jamestown Boys and Girls Club at 664-2902.