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Aquatics Newsletter | April 2010 |
Experience the Benefits of Water Walking
Water WalkingYou can't walk on water, but have you tried walking in it? Water walking is one of the most effective, low impact and versatile training mediums for improving cardiovascular endurance, body composition, muscular endurance and even flexibility. 
Water walking is for just about everyone. It requires no special equipment or swimming requirements. It is safe for people with physical limitations such as arthritis, heart disease and high blood pressure. The fit population can see benefits in water walking as a cross-training technique. Water walking is also great for individuals rehabilitating following surgery or injury.
Walk as you would on land, placing your heel down first and following through with the ball of your foot. Don't walk on your tiptoes. Keep your back straight and stomach muscles taut.
Push relatively straight arms forward and back at your sides as you walk. Turn your hands each time so that the palms press against the water.
Use your arms in opposition to your legs: When you step forward with your right leg, bring your left arm forward, and vice versa. Always start off slow and stretch out before walking moderately.
Did you know that water provides 12 times the resistance of air? The number of calories you burn increases with the depth of the water. Water supports 90% of the body's weight; a 150-pound person submerged in water up to his neck only weighs 15 pounds in the water. You also get more bang for your buck: walking a quarter mile in the water is equal to walking one mile on land. Visit the pool at any rec center and enjoy the many benefits of walking in water!
New Program for Parents/Preschoolers
Munchkin SwimHelp your child become more comfortable in the water with this great new program designed for parents and preschoolers. You and your child will enjoy spending time together in Munchkins Swim Hour for a stimulating hour in the pool exploring water safety skills through fun activities and games.
Munchkins Swim Hour programs are offered independently, so you don't have to commit to a series of lessons. Listed below are the locations, dates and times for available programs.
#94409 | Wed., Apr 28, 9:30 - 10:30am | Princess Anne | $7
#94805 | Wed., May 12, 10:30 - 11:30am | Great Neck | $7
#94410 | Wed., May 26, 9:30 - 10:30am | Princess Anne | $7
For more information, please contact an aquatic supervisor at Great Neck (496-6766) or Princess Anne (426-0022).
Tip: Use Hand Paddles to Enhance Your Swim Workout
Many swimmers ask the question: Are paddles harmful or helpful?  The answer is: Yes.
PaddlesIf used incorrectly, paddles can cause or speed up the development of shoulder problems. However, if used correctly, paddles will improve your stroke, increase your strength and reduce shoulder problems. 
Paddles add resistance, so building strength is easy to understand. Most shoulder problems are due to the repetition of an incorrect stroke. If you use paddles with an incorrect stroke, the added resistance will cause the shoulder problems to develop more quickly.
How do you know if you have an incorrect stroke? Take off the wrist band and loosen the strap that goes around the finger. The paddle should be very loose on your hand. Now try to swim or pull with a buoy. If the paddles come off or wiggle around, you have an incorrect stroke. To correct your stroke, slow down and think. Your hand (and the paddle) should always exert pressure against the water. Slow down so that you feel it. If your hand is in continuous contact with the water, the paddles stay on and your stroke will improve. 
After some practice, you will get the benefit of added resistance without the downside of shoulder problems.
Swimming Lessons for Summer Campers
LessonsEnhance your child's summer camp experience by including a week of swimming lessons - 45 minutes per day, for 5 days. All abilities of swimmers welcome! The swimmer must be enrolled in a recreation center summer camp during the week of lessons.
Locations: Bayside, Bow Creek, Great Neck, Kempsville, & Princess Anne Recreation Centers
Dates & hours vary by site. Register your summer camper for Add-On Swimming Lessons. Cost is $30 per week.

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NEW!  Ask Aquatics

Each month we will feature one of your questions along with an answer from our aquatics staff.
Q: Why do I tire so quickly when I swim?

A:You're most likely breathing incorrectly. Holding your breath or breathing too often can cause swimmers to tire quickly. The correct breathing technique is to exhale slowly while your face is in the water and inhale when your face comes out of the water. 
Depending on the stroke used, inhaling should be timed with an arm movement.
With freestyle, inhaling occurs as the arm pulls and the body rolls to the side. Breaths should be taken every 3rd or 4th stroke with a regular breathing pattern developed. Breathing every stroke will usually result in being out of breath. 
With the breaststroke, breathing is part of the rhythm of the stroke and should be done every stroke cycle to maintain that rhythm.
When swimming backstroke, swimmers should also develop a breathing pattern; inhaling on one side and exhaling on the other.
"Bobs" can help develop more comfort with a breathing pattern.  Hang on to the edge of the pool, submerge and exhale slowly beneath the water, emerge and inhale at the surface. Try to avoid wiping the water out of your eyes or the hair from your face and submerge again. 
Repeat ten times and work up to 25-30 times without stopping. Remember, breath control takes practice.
Submit your questions to
Please Note Our Upcoming Facility Closures
All Community Recreation Centers and Owl Creek Tennis Center will be closed May 31 for Memorial Day.

Don't forget that your membership is good at all six Virginia Beach Recreation Centers! If your usual center is closed for maintenance, take the opportunity to visit another center. Use this locator to help you find one!
Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation believes all of our diverse citizens have a right to participate in community recreation and we are committed to creating equal access for everyone who may have a challenge or barrier. If you or your child require additional support, we can help.  Learn more about our accommodation and inclusion services.
We welcome your comments and questions.  Feel free to email us at
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Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation is accredited by CAPRA,
the certifying agency of the National Recreation and Park Association.