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    SRU Soldiers experience a 5K inside a pool

    5k In a Pool

    Photo By Christopher Fields | Soldiers in the Army Recovery Care Program assigned to the Soldier Recovery Unit, Fort...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    Army Recovery Care Program

    Story by Christine Aurigema
    Army Recovery Care Program

    ARLINGTON, Va., -- Experience an entire 5K inside a pool? It’s something that Soldiers in the Army Recovery Care Program assigned to the Soldier Recovery Unit, Fort Belvoir, Virginia can do in their weekly Deep Water Running class.

    The SRU’s adaptive reconditioning program introduced Deep Water Running and Shallow Water Workout aquatics classes earlier this year. Both classes are unique because they incorporate traditionally non-aquatic exercise movements inside a heated therapeutic pool.

    Physical Therapy Assistant Seon Hollett has instructed aquatics at the Fort Belvoir SRU for 10 years. “Before I became a PTA, I noticed that aquatic therapy was beneficial for Soldiers experiencing mobility issues and high pain levels,” she said. “I realized this was something I could do to help them.”

    Deep Water Running features high intensity/sprint, 5K run, recovery/endurance and lower extremity workouts. During the class, Soldiers jog in deep water using a flotation belt that prevents their feet from touching the bottom of the pool.

    “Water’s natural buoyancy reduces strain on joints, bones and muscles by as much as 90%,” said Adaptive Reconditioning Support Specialist Philip Rackham. “As a Soldier’s body presses down in the water, the water presses up. This reduces strain while creating the illusion that he or she weighs less and providing the same cardiovascular workout one would experience running on solid ground.”

    The Shallow Water Workout programs are designed for non-swimmers; participants stand in water below chest level so they do not feel overwhelmed.

    “Shallow Water Workout also uses the water’s resistance to decrease strain and provide a cardiovascular workout,” Rackham said. “The intensity can be heightened by increasing speed, range of motion, accelerating off the pool floor or against the water’s resistance, or by traveling,” Rackham said.

    There is more to the aquatic classes than the fitness component.

    “It’s like the water is emotionally embracing you,” Hollett said. “It’s important for Soldiers who experience behavior or isolation issues. The small classes can also help Soldiers who are uncomfortable in groups to ease their way into larger group settings.”

    Hollett has seen results and expanded the classes to different levels and intensities to accommodate varying needs. “Soldiers have told me that they finally found an exercise that gets them out of breath, which is important for their fitness level, but can be challenging if the Soldier is experiencing pain or orthopedic issues,” Hollett said.

    She encourages Soldiers to try the classes once or twice to see how they feel. “Without trying, you never know what you are missing.”



    Date Taken: 05.08.2020
    Date Posted: 05.08.2020 10:19
    Story ID: 369526
    Location: VA, US

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