Conejo YMCA Aqua Pilates Instructor Knows the Value of Water Exercise From Firsthand Experience

click arial, buy cialis sans-serif;”>ymcaConejo Valley YMCA Aqua Pilates instructor Issy Voelker knows the value of water exercise from firsthand experience. After an accident that broke her neck and left her partially paralyzed, followed by emergency surgery and two years of water exercise, she is where she is now–one of the most popular water fitness class instructors at the Conejo Valley and Miller Family YMCAs.

Her journey to water fitness instructor began in 2010. Surgery replaced the damaged disk in her neck with a titanium disk. Even after surgery, she could not move, and because the surgery affected her vocal box, she could not talk. Voelker soon began attending water fitness classes at the Miller Family YMCA in Newbury Park. She used her walker to enter the water. “”At first, I was embarrassed because I couldn’t keep up with the others in the class,” says Voelker. “But I knew that this is what I needed to do to get stronger. I found a freedom in the water. Water is a great healer.”

Prior to her injury, Voelker worked in dentistry for 28 years. “I couldn’t do that anymore so I had to reinvent myself. I would always take my fitness instructor aside and ask all kinds of questions to learn how to get better. She was very patient and helpful,” says Voelker. “I would workout at the Y every day and then workout again at the pool where I live.”

After two years of this regime, with her body strong and her voice back, Voelker studied for and received a United States Water Fitness Association instructor certification. She began teaching one water fitness class at the Miller Y. Three years later, she now teaches 17 to 18 classes at week at both YMCAs and at the Motion Picture and Television Fund’s Saban Center in Woodland Hills. “I received tremendous support from the Y staff and Y members. It meant a lot,” says Voelker.

What do her students think of her classes and instruction? “I love coming here,” says Bonnie Dunaj, who participates in the Conejo Y’s Aqua Pilates and Splash Dance classes. “Water exercise is just about the only exercise I can do. It’s helped my breathing and stamina. It’s something I must do each day to stay healthy. Issy is always smiling. She pushes us without really pushing. She makes it fun but she also knows her business. She really cares about each of us.”

For Loretta Allen, the water fitness classes have been part of a significant lifestyle change. “I’ve lost 60 pounds in the last year by going to the Y’s water exercise classes and changing my eating habits,” says Allen. The classes and Issy are lifesavers.”

Aqua Pilates is a low impact class focusing on core strengthening, improved balance and stability and relaxation. Splash Dance is a low-to-no impact workout focused on cardio, strength-building, joint mobility and balance.

For information on these and other water exercise classes, contact the Conejo Y at 805-523-7613 or Miller Y at 805-480-0309.


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