The Aquatics Program at Helen Hayes Hospital in West Haverstraw is currently accepting new participants. All programs take place in the hospital’s state-of-the-art warm water aquatic facility. The facility features newly refurbished locker rooms and a 60’ by 25’ pool, heated to 92-94 degrees, which has steps with bilateral rails and specialized hydraulic lifts to enable individuals of all abilities to access the pool. The pool also offers a flat floor divided into depths of 5’, 4 ’ and 2’ 9” to accommodate comfortable exercise for individuals of all heights.
The hospital is certified to offer the Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program (AFAP), which has been designed by the organization to help individuals with arthritis maintain and/or improve their health and well being. An AFAP instructor leads participants in gentle exercise routines. AFAP classes meet twice per week and take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the following times: 9:30 a.m., 10:15 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 3:45 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. The class is also offered at 5:00 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Individuals who simply wish to exercise within the warm water pool may participate in the hospital’s Aquatic Exercise Program. Participants perform their exercise routines independently during 45-minute sessions, and may bring a personal aid for assistance if needed. Sessions are offered on a two or three time per week basis, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the following times: 9:30 a.m., 10:15 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 1:15 p.m.
The goal of these programs is to decrease pain and discomfort, while simultaneously increasing physical fitness and relaxation. Warm water immersion lessens the effects of gravity, providing buoyancy and reducing weight-bearing stress on joints, often enabling participants to perform exercises they are unable to do on land. Benefits of aquatic exercise include increased flexibility, strength, coordination and balance, as well as improved circulation. Individuals who can benefit from aquatic exercise include those with back pain, arthritis, joint replacements and neurological conditions.
Neither program is covered by insurance, nor is a physician referral required for participation. Individuals may enroll on a monthly or yearly basis. A lifeguard is on duty at all times. Participants have use of the locker rooms and must wear aquatic shoes when using the pool. For additional information, or to register, call Judy Berenson, C.T.R.S., Aquatics Director at 845-786-4457.