Water Exercise helps people with disabilities and the rest of us too!

me29The petite woman is standing on the pool deck at Easton Fitness Center , in Columbus Ohio,  ordering 35 women and men around the indoor swimming pool. “Harder, faster, stronger, better!” she says. She crouches down to make sure her students are really working. “ I want to see you making waves in that pool,” she says.

Linda Mason is the lithe instructor. One thing you will find out about this motivational woman is that she is serious and passionate about her job. She teaches different aerobic swim classes that she designs herself. People in her classes are very satisfied with the workout she provides. “I feel so much better after I workout in the pool with Linda,” said Susan, one of her regular clients.

She’s been doing her job for over 25 years. She works with people of all ages  to improve their health.  Another one of her specialties is working with people with disabilities.  She is certified through the AEA  (Aquatic Exercise Association).

“ My passion is to help people improve their life…Water is such a forgiving, massaging, and healing medium. If you are experiencing inflammation, it will go down in the water. The pain threshold is lower in the water. People with disabilities can do things in the water that they can’t do on land,” she noted.

Mason first became interested in improving her own health when her father suddenly died from a heart attack. She was only 23 years old. “ I decided to take care of myself. A friend suggested I teach water aerobics.  I trained in a couple of months, and I really liked it. I was determined to stay healthy,” she said.

Lindsay, her foster child, taught Mason what it meant to triumph over disabilities.  Mason started caring for her when she was only 18 months old. At the time Mason was living in Detroit, Michigan. She met Lindsay through her church. Lindsay’s mother was unable to care for her little girl at the time.

“ I got involved with the Detroit Children’s Hospital. I trained with the physical therapy department. I worked with her at home. Before too long, she was crawling. By the time she was four and a half she was mainstreamed into kindergarten. Eventually, she could go back with her mom.  This pushed me into the realm of helping people . I learned to work with frustration. I found out this is all part of getting better,” said Mason.

One of Mason’s unforgettable clients at the JCC (Jewish Community Center)  was a former Buffalo Bills football player. He was 6’6” tall. “He came to my regular class and couldn’t go up and down the stairs of the pool. Before I started working with him I didn’t know that he’d had both knees, shoulders, and hips replaced. By the time I was done working with him, he could go up and down 10 steps. I worked with the muscle memory, and weight-bearing. He was also feeling much better, and finally sleeping at night,” said Mason.

Another client of Mason’s was Susanne Greenbaum who has suffered from multiple sclerosis.“Linda was very knowledgeable, and knew how to work with my MS. She helped my balance, and strengthened my core,” said Greenbaum.

Mason also works on land with people. “ I’ll start out just walking with people to see how they move. Then, I’ll create a program for them,” said Mason.

“My passion is to help people. I like to see people take little steps to improve their health,” said Mason.

If you want to learn more check out Mason’s website: http://www.hertn.org

Please reply about exercise you’ve tried!


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