History of Water Walking

In 1986 John Spannuth, then Senior Aquatics Director at the Cleveland County Family YMCA in Norman, Oklahoma, saw Mr. Dee Moscoe walking in chest-deep water. Mr. Moscoe explained he had arthritis and couldn’t walk out of the water for exercise, but that walking in the water caused no pain. He explained how the continual resistance to every move he made in the water helped him. Spannuth began thinking about the benefits of walking in the water and suggested to his water fitness instructors to use water walking in their classes. The class participants enjoyed it and asked Spannuth to rope off a half lane so they could water walk anytime during the day. Because of the larger interest in water walking in the half lane, it was expanded to 1 ½ lanes. At the end of 1988 more than 2,500 different people were water walking at the YMCA in Norman, Oklahoma. Spannuth is now promoting Water Walking throughout the world!


Most People Exercise for One or More of the Following Reason’s

Fitness – Getting or keeping in shape. Remember that you cannot just waddle back and forth and expect great results. Improving your fitness depends on how much energy you use.

Therapeutic – Helping people recover from accidents and sickness. Combating the aging process. Pain Management.

Social – Meeting and being with other people. You can talk with others as you Water Exercise. Workout facing your partner or side by side.

Stress Release – Gives you a chance to just relax and forget about work, problems, or other things!

Fun – Enjoy the diversion. Water exercise in a playful way and don’t worry about being serious! Laugh and enjoy it! Water Exercise is fun!


Why is Exercising IN the Water Better than Exercising OUT of the Water

Buoyancy: This water property allows people to do exercises that are difficult on land. 90% of your body is buoyant when water is up to your neck, so you are not hitting the floor as hard as you would on land. No Pounding or jarring!

Resistance: There is continual resistance to every move you make. The water offers 12% – 14% more resistance than when you exercise on land. Resistance does not allow for sudden body movements.

Cooling Effect: Water disperses heat more efficiently, so there is less chance of overheating. The water continuously cools the body. Exercise in the water is cooler and more comfortable than it is on land.

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