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Ask the Seahorse

CALA answers your questions

Portable Sounds Systems:
Question:
Ask the Seahorse: I am in need of a radio to use on deck but it must be water/moisture resistance along with the usual CD player, radio, tape. Can you suggest where I can purchase this item. Someone mentioned to me that some instructors put rubber stoppers on the connectors or plugs to protect them...

Answer
Suggestion provided by: CALA Certified Instructor, Suzanne.. If you inquire at the stores, they’ll know the best products. In my experience, I’ve used various products—one huge boom box that was water resistant but eventually failed after years of use (depends on number classes, moisture in air, must be cleaned regularly)—one pool was salt water and over the summer months (when we weren’t there) we found a salt residue on our equipment in the fall when we returned (so I covered my boom box during subsequent summers)—I’ve stored smaller boom boxes in a closed container for protection, stored in locked shed, and this worked— The BEST means of playing music for me now is my Bose ($300) and ipod ($250) which is portable for all my classes (no need to plug it in, CDs get scratched and can no longer be used, so it’s best to download CDs, make playlists on ipod—can delete songs you don't like, on each CD). The biggest challenge is finding a boom box that plays an ipod (some instructors use these, and in my opinion, this is the ONLY way to go), but others use CDs, so I need a boom box at each of my 7 pools that plays both, and this is sometimes hard to find. You can also purchase a connector which you can plug into a boom box and your ipod (if it only plays CDs). With Sony closing its doors, you might also find some sales right now. Hope this is helpful.

 

anaerobic training in the water

1. Question: regarding anaerobic training in the water: What are the work:rest ratio times? I know for land, depending it can be 1:3 or 1:4. I was reviewing the deep water vertical manual and it says in the back 1:3 however I wasn't sure with venous return and water properties if the ratios changed as compared to land.

1. Answer: I have been promoting 1:6 as a ratio. I hope that helps.

2. Question: Wow. So, to confirm, if the participants are working anaerobically for 30 sec they rest 3mins. I was thinking a shorter rest time with venous return etc.

2. Answer: If you are working to improve V02max... 1;6 and the interval might be 15 seconds max... max effort.  if you are working to improve LT, then 1:4 might be more appropriate or 1:3

Ask the Seahorse

Question:

I need your advice. In one of my aqua fit classes, I have 2 participants (different classes) who are experiencing leg cramps. One participant in particular gets the leg cramp when she does the standing quadriceps stretch. She says that she never gets the cramp on land when she does the same stretch but she always gets a cramp (leg) in water. She has experienced this for the past few classes so now she does not do this particular stretch. Would you know why she is getting this cramp and how to avoid it? Thanks, Pavla (CALA Certified Leader)

 Answer:

There are several possible reasons for hamstring cramps during a quadriceps stretch. I will list some causes and cautions below, do let me know what works for your participants, after you suggest the following options.
Firstly, I am assuming you are doing the standing quad stretch, during the stretch portion at the end of the class.
(a) If the water temperature is on the ‘cool’ side (less than 84° F), thermal conductivity may cause the hamstring muscle to lose heat. As the quads are stretched, the hamstrings are activated. If the hamstrings are too cold, then there is a strong possibility that a cramp will result.
I suggest integrating dynamic stretching of the quad muscles, rather than a static standing stretch. This will keep the quad and the hamstring muscles warm and may avoid the cramping.
(b) If the participants have not generated enough heat in their skeletal muscles during the ‘workout’ phase of the class, then the hamstring muscles may not be warm enough, when the standing quad stretch is performed.
I re-iterate the strategy above (a) and also suggest that you consider educating the two participants (possibly before or after the class) about how to elevate their body temperature by exercising at a higher effort level. You can demonstrate options for them to make the workout harder to generate more kinetic energy resulting in more body heat. * This is assuming the participants are healthy enough to exercise at an appropriate level of intensity to generate heat.
(c) Check to be sure that the participants are in a relaxed state of mind, body and spirit during the stretch. This can be facilitated my your tone and volume of voice, and the music you use. Remind them to deep breathe, and especially to relax their fingers and hands, toes and feet. From time to time, participants try to grip the floor with their toes and the bottom of their feet. This action might facilitate a chain of tension through the feet, the calves and then into the hamstring muscles.
(d) If your participants are having a hard time maintaining their balance during the standing quad stretch, this might cause the hamstring muscles to activate involuntarily. Encourage participants to hold on to the wall or use one hand/arm under water in a sculling action to maintain balance and to generate heat.
(e) Add a dynamic vertical repeater quad kick/ham curl movement for 16 – 32 repetitions to warm up the muscle pair, then to the standing quad stretch. Repeat on the other leg.
Charlene Kopansky, CALA Founder and President

CALA Post Rehabilitation Program

Question

CALA Certified Leader: Dawn ... posed the following question: I am working with a senior who had a very serious car accident about 15 years ago, she was not expected to live, but proved them wrong. Her humerus was badly broken and a plate was put in her arm (humerus area). When she does any water work involving her arms she says her arm will ache, (this arm is also weak), she will stop working and walk around the pool. I am wondering if she should have a sling on her arm and just work the other arm for approximately 1 week. I am also thinking about a sling while she is at home or give that arm support with a pillow when she is sitting. I gave her some exercises for home--shoulder rolls forward & backwards, shoulder shrugs, hugs, and keeping her shoulders in neutral position. I guess that the plate is creating some of the problems. Should I keep the exercises going for this arm to strengthen the muscles, or wait for about a week? I hope I have explained clearly enough.

Answer

Response from Charlene Kopansky, CALA Founder and President, Hons. B.Sc. Human Kinetics, B.Ed. P.H.E. & Sc., Master Trainer and International Presenter 

Response: I think it might be wise for this person to consult with their physician to see why there is so much pain in the arm area, 15 years post surgery. I think encouraging the client to listen to her body and stop exercising the affected limb if there is persistent pain, is a good idea.

Perhaps she also needs to see a physio. I can recommend Farhan Dhalla in the Health Centre, at the Fitness Institute Clinic ( 2235 Sheppard Ave East, Toronto, Ontario, M2J 5B5) Phone: 416-492-761.

Sorry to be so vague, but it sounds like she needs treatment by a physio who can prescribe specific exercises. I have forwarded your email to Connie J. and to Elizabeth Fox to see if they have other thoughts on your query (below).

You might also want to join the ATRI e-list (www.atri.org ) . This is a fee service, where you can post your questions to the wide world and get responses from the wide world!

Response from Connie Jasinskas:
I agree with Charlene. I also think your client should be assessed by a competent physio who has a lot of experience with shoulder issues. From there, she will have a list of recommendations for movements to be encouraged and avoided.

Until she can have that done, she might try keeping the arm fairly still during cardio, in order to keep herself active. Gentle ROM of her arm within her comfortable range during MSE / stretch, might be OK. If she has developed neuropathic pain (ie: the structures have healed, but her body is on red alert to any movement in her affected limb) she may need some counseling about that, to help develop strategies that will help reduce her pain. She won't know whether it is neuropathic pain or not, until she is assessed.

Good luck to her and you. Cheers, Connie Jasinskas, CALA Master Trainer, M. Sc.

Response from CALA Trainer: Elizabeth Fox:
My very quick thoughts, with the very limited information available is that the lady has chronic pain. There are a variety of reasons she may have persistent pain 15 years later, and based on my caseload, chronic post-traumatic pain is really not that uncommon (I think the current figure is 20% of folks may go on to chronic pain post injury.)

So I think Charlene's advice is wise. A physio or a similar health care provider, might be the best source to recommend exercising through her pain if that is really what is needed. Otherwise she should do what she can and aim for very small incremental progressions each week or more likely every other week. As for the sling, I really can't think of a situation where I would suggest a sling in the water (other than maybe a hemiplegic shoulder, on occasion) Certainly if the arm is aching - supporting it while sitting makes good sense.

I would agree that a physio consult is likely in order, perhaps even to clarify goals - is improving the pain a reasonable goal or really is education needed about better managing the pain and this is where the pool comes in?? Certainly you can improve strength and function, which may or may not change the chronic pain. Cardiovascular exercise is also an important component of chronic pain management. Improved overall cardiovascular conditioning can also improve overall function, which still enhances quality of life, although, the arm pain may not have changed.

My thoughts for what they are worth. Hope that helps. Elizabeth Fox Physiotherapist BA(H)Kin, BScPT, MScPT

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April 19, 2011
Q:

I am hoping that you can provide some information about how to learn to do water running in Toronto. I realize that you are an organization for water fitness instructors however I have been looking online for ages and cannot find any information about water running trainers or classes so I thought I'd drop you a note. Does a person who wants to learn how to water run simply take Aquafit classes as an introduction? Do aquafit classes prepare someone to start a water running regime? Or are there further steps I can take? I'd appreciate any info or advice you can provide. Thanks so much, Terri 

A:
Answer provided by Charlene Kopansky, Founder and President of CALA Inc.
Hello Terri:
If you want to participate in Water Running, it is best to actually attend a water running class, that is taught by a CALA Certified Instructor in the Water Running Specialty. This is an important question to ask any facility and/ or instructor. The person at the front desk of the facilty may or may not know the answer... You can also ask for the fitness director or aquatics director.

Ask for specific CALA Certification in Water Running, rather than in Group Aquafitness. I believe that if more consumers asked for this specialty, it will become more prevalent as an option for training and then more classes would be offered!

At the moment the number of class offerings in Water Running in Toronto are limited. I have been trying to get the concept of Water Running launched in Toronto and have had limited success. The key is to have people teaching the class who actually have the CALA education and training, in the Specialty and have read about running on land and transfered that knowledge to water. CALA also offers ongoing conferences and workshops that feature new ideas for water running geared to instructors and interested participants. I have attached a copy of our most recent brochure.

We also have an excellent resource that you can purchase. It details the ins and outs of water running and is a great supplement to a personal training session. It is a CALA Resource.

I would suggest you try a Water Running Class. I know of two in the City.
1. Fitness Institute, Willowdale/North York 2. Granite Club

Another option is to hire a trainer to coach you on Water Running so that you can do this on your own at a pool near you. This would involved 1 - 3 personal training sessions and is well worth while.

anaerobic training in the water

1. Question: regarding anaerobic training in the water: What are the work:rest ratio times? I know for land, depending it can be 1:3 or 1:4. I was reviewing the deep water vertical manual and it says in the back 1:3 however I wasn't sure with venous return and water properties if the ratios changed as compared to land.

1. Answer: I have been promoting 1:6 as a ratio. I hope that helps.

2. Question: Wow. So, to confirm, if the participants are working anaerobically for 30 sec they rest 3mins. I was thinking a shorter rest time with venous return etc.

2. Answer: If you are working to improve V02max... 1;6 and the interval might be 15 seconds max... max effort.  if you are working to improve LT, then 1:4 might be more appropriate or 1:3

CALA Post Rehabilitation Program

Question

CALA Certified Leader: Dawn ... posed the following question: I am working with a senior who had a very serious car accident about 15 years ago, she was not expected to live, but proved them wrong. Her humerus was badly broken and a plate was put in her arm(humerus area). When she does any water work involving her arms she says her arm will ache,(this arm is also weak), she will stop working and walk around the pool. I am wondering if she should have a sling on her arm and just work the other arm for approximately 1 week. I am also thinking about a sling while she is at home or give that arm support with a pillow when she is sitting. I gave her some exercises for home--shoulder rolls forward & backwards, shoulder shrugs, hugs, and keeping her shoulders in neutral position. I guess that the plate is creating some of the problems. Should I keep the exercises going for this arm to strengthen the muscles, or wait for about a week? I hope I have explained clearly enough.

Answer

Response from Charlene Kopansky, CALA Founder and President, Hons. B.Sc. Human Kinetics, B.Ed. P.H.E. & Sc., Master Trainer and International Presenter 

Response: I think it might be wise for this person to consult with their physician to see why there is so much pain in the arm area, 15 years post surgery. I think encouraging the client to listen to her body and stop exercising the affected limb if there is persistent pain, is a good idea.

Perhaps she also needs to see a physio. I can recommend Farhan Dhalla in the Health Centre, at the Fitness Institute Clinic ( 2235 Sheppard Ave East, Toronto, Ontario, M2J 5B5) Phone: 416-492-761.

Sorry to be so vague, but it sounds like she needs treatment by a physio who can prescribe specific exercises. I have forwarded your email to Connie J. and to Elizabeth Fox to see if they have other thoughts on your query (below).

You might also want to join the ATRI e-list (www.atri.org) . This is a fee service, where you can post your questions to the wide world and get responses from the wide world!

Response from Connie Jasinskas:
I agree with Charlene. I also think your client should be assessed by a competent physio who has a lot of experience with shoulder issues. From there, she will have a list of recommendations for movements to be encouraged and avoided.

Until she can have that done, she might try keeping the arm fairly still during cardio, in order to keep herself active. Gentle ROM of her arm within her comfortable range during MSE / stretch, might be OK. If she has developed neuropathic pain (ie: the structures have healed, but her body is on red alert to any movement in her affected limb) she may need some counseling about that, to help develop strategies that will help reduce her pain. She won't know whether it is neuropathic pain or not, until she is assessed.

Good luck to her and you. Cheers, Connie Jasinskas, CALA Master Trainer, M. Sc.

Response from CALA Trainer: Elizabeth Fox:
My very quick thoughts, with the very limited information available is that the lady has chronic pain. There are a variety of reasons she may have persistent pain 15 years later, and based on my caseload, chronic post-traumatic pain is really not that uncommon (I think the current figure is 20% of folks may go on to chronic pain post injury.)

So I think Charlene's advice is wise. A physio or a similar health care provider, might be the best source to recommend exercising through her pain if that is really what is needed. Otherwise she should do what she can and aim for very small incremental progressions each week or more likely every other week. As for the sling, I really can't think of a situation where I would suggest a sling in the water (other than maybe a hemiplegic shoulder, on occasion) Certainly if the arm is aching - supporting it while sitting makes good sense.

I would agree that a physio consult is likely in order, perhaps even to clarify goals - is improving the pain a reasonable goal or really is education needed about better managing the pain and this is where the pool comes in?? Certainly you can improve strength and function, which may or may not change the chronic pain. Cardiovascular exercise is also an important component of chronic pain management. Improved overall cardiovascular conditioning can also improve overall function, which still enhances quality of life, although, the arm pain may not have changed.

My thoughts for what they are worth. Hope that helps. Elizabeth Fox Physiotherapist BA(H)Kin, BScPT, MScPT

Questions
Hello to the CALA team
It was my understanding that we can encourage participants without health limitations to work at their maximum range of motion. Specifically suspended ski, referring to shoulder and hip extension. (cuing reaching to the back wall).
Today, a participant questioned why I use this cue. She has been corrected by other instructors that the hip extension in particular, should only go to 45 degrees, and that she is reaching too far back.
I explained that in my view if the other instructor had concerns it may have to do with ability to keep the body core stable, and not twisting, or that the larger ROM may cause discomfort to some participants if they are going past what is safe for them individually, or maybe that reaching too far back would compromise the power posture and create low back hyperextension.
I just want to confirm that I did not misunderstand the instructions and that it is safe for participants to work to their comfortable ROM. keeping in mind that the resistance be kept in a safe range as well as speed.
I just wanted to make sure my response was appropriate. I try to make sure that if instructors give different information to a client that I try to explain my point of view without contradicting the other instructor.
Thanks in advance for clarification with this matter.
CALA certified leader, Ontario

Answer
You are absolutely correct. While maintaining the power posture, with a stabilized core and all the other goodies you mentioned, keeping in mind zone of comfort, we are recommending that participants find their comfortable range of motion and work within it.
Generally speaking the population has underdeveloped the hip extension phase of movement, thus injuries happen with slips and falls or during activities that require good flexibility at the hip joint.
I can only see that limitation being appropriate for certain clients, who would have learned through experience that they need to control their ROM in hip extension, as it might exacerbate an existing problem or a problem that flares up when they do hip extension. Usually it is a case of not maintaining core stabilization with level pelvis....
Hope that answers your question. I am assuming you were talking about a regular class! 
Charlene Kopansky

Question:
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: I have someone with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in my aquafitness class, is there anything I should not have her do in the water? Her doctor said not to do any punching motions. 

Answer  by Connie Jasinskas:
First, consider the “Scope of Practice” guidelines (from the CALA Healing Waters course): 
* Do no harm: whatever exercises you give her, they should not increase her pain or worsen her condition
* Do not alter prescriptions assigned to your client by the medical community (without communication between yourself and the person who prescribed the treatment, with the client's permission for such communication). Her MD has said, "no punching motions", and that is to be respected.
* Do not prescribe: I would ask the client what she has been told she CAN do / SHOULD do to improve her condition. If she has no idea, perhaps she should see a physiotherapist / osteopath / rheumatologist / chiropractor in order to determine what her best course of action is.
* Until comprehensive medical advice regarding movement prescription / contraindication is available, I would suggest the following:
1. Focus on functional posture throughout all movements / while stabilizing: scapular set; proper cervical alignment with ears over shoulders; neutral pelvis, stabilized by transverse abdominals, pelvic floor and multifidus.
2. Have her maintain a functional, neutral, pain free position of her wrists throughout all gross-motor activities. Just maintaining her wrists well-aligned while doing other activities in the water, she will receive a mild training stimulus to the wrist stabilizers. If she has trouble doing this, she may need the wrists braced while exercising in the water (something she can investigate with her medical team). NOTE: Specific exercises for the wrists should be prescribed by her medical team.

Question:
Aqua Running:
I want to know if there is a difference between Aqua Running and Aquajogging. Is Aqua Running more specific? I know that "to jog" and "to run" are very different, but, in the water, these differences may seem superfluous.

Answer by Charlene Kopansky:
When I co-wrote the resource and training manual for this specialty course, the team of writers decided that both joggers and runners would benefit from the training effects of exercising in water. To avoid minimizing the market, we decided to include both 'names' in the manual. When training in deep water, zero impact, the biomechanics of running and jogging are very similar. There is no ground reaction force when running in deep water hence the actual running form is modified to suit the aquatic environment. The good news is that the specificity of training remains high, from water to land. If on the other hand, one is training in chest or shoulder deep water, there is impact involved and this affects the biomechanics of water running and aqua jogging. Get into deep water, with an appropriate flotation belt and try simulating the jogging action and the running action. How does it feel? What changes did you make to the biomechanics of your movements? Try the same experiment in chest deep water. Try running at a race pace, what happens to the landing phase of your movement?

Question from Sheila :
I have a degree in Kinesiology. I have never heard of double positive muscle activation. Could you explain more about it?

Answer from Charlene CALA Founder and President:
Thanks for reading the articles on our web site. I also have a degree – Honours Biological Science with my major in Human Kinetics and a degree in Education. The double positive muscle activation refers to the following: When immersed to shoulder depth: performing knee extension and flexion: the quads will activate concentrically during the knee extension phase; the hamstrings will activate concentrically during the knee flexion. This is due to the fact that the 'location of the load changes' - water is all around the body, you are constantly pushing and pulling it (multidirectional resistance). The 'nickname' for concentric muscle action is positive muscle activation. The nickname for eccentric is negative muscle action. The lack of soreness is because of the balanced work: double concentric or double positive. While the quads are working concentrically, on knee extension, the hams are releasing - getting a fresh blood supply - so the lack of eccentric is the same as saying double concentric or double positive. Just a different way of saying the same thing. During our CALA Foundation Course, we do discuss the lack of eccentric muscle work during most movements in water.

Response from Sheila:
No, it still doesn't make any sense, are you talking cardio component or muscular component? I thought that in order to actually gain muscle strength, you must have a concentric and eccentric phase. I also do not understand the reference to a “release of muscle tension”.

Answer from Connie Jasinskas:
A “Double positive” muscle activation isn’t necessarily  the technical terminology for what happens, but it beats saying “concentric-concentric”. 
B Double positive or “concentric-concentric” muscle activation means that eccentric muscle work is reduced or absent, and therefore, DOMS is reduced or absent.
C There is a "release of muscle tension" when using the opposing muscle group. Refer to the work of Dr. Herman Kabat (mid 1950s), based on the work of Dr. Charles Sherrington. Sherrington’s Laws of muscle activation ‘Reciprocal Innervation / Inhibition”, states, ”a reflex loop mediated by the muscle spindle cell …causes one muscle to relax (be inhibited from contracting) when the opposing muscle (the antagonist) contracts. This allows movement to occur around a joint. For instance, when the quadriceps muscle contracts, the hamstring is reciprocally inhibited, thereby allowing the knee to straighten”. Source: Facilitated Stretching, R. E. McAtee, HK press 1993. If the antagonist did NOT relax when the agonist activated to cause movement, we would be constantly tearing antagonistic muscles, or be locked immobile in isometric cramps.
Re: Your statement: To actually gain muscle strength, you MUST have a concentric AND eccentric phase. This is not true, otherwise, gains in strength could not occur in the water, or with hydraulically braked exercise equipment.

Question from Janet:
There has been some controversy at our pool about hand position during a breast stroke. One person is saying that the thumbs can't be down during the pull back, they must be up, or it is not a healthy action for the shoulder. If this is so, we must have a lot of lane swimmers hurting their shoulders!

Answer from Connie:
Either move is possible for the shoulder joint, and I am not aware of any danger inherent in a 'thumbs down' breast stroke pull-back. However, in this action, the shoulder joint is medially (internally) rotated. Many people are habitually in this alignment due to working on computers and other forward- focused manual activities. It is often wise to counteract this habitual postural misalignment during physical training activities. If possible, to try to restore more functional alignment to the shoulder joints and shoulder girdle.

Question
What can be done, when participants concentrate more on conversation than they do on working out?

Answer
“I have found one solution to participants talking during class: I have told them to find a place where they have a lot of room to manoeuver. Once they know the movements, I tell them to close their eyes and concentrate on that movement and on their stability. I have found that this makes participants work harder because they are more aware of when they start to get lazy. Every so often, they can open their eyes to make sure they are not getting too close to each other and/or the edges of the pool. This technique really does make a difference. I have tried it and it works! Not everyone is closing their eyes when I ask them to. I think that with time they may get to like the challenge it offers. It may be fear of the unknown that is holding some of my participants back. My reason for using this technique for myself was to experience the session the way a blind person would. I could not believe how much harder I worked and how aware I was of every movement. Doing this exercise allows the mind to rest and as a result, tension seems to leave the body.
Why not try it yourself, then try it with your participants - the mouth stops, the mind focuses and the physical results are amazing.”

Question
Dear Connie,
I recently took the Cala Aqua Natal Course, which was very interesting, and have two questions to ask you with regards to pregnant participants. Your feedback would be greatly appreciated; I thank you in advance for your help. Kindest regards, Nadia Karawani
Is the supine (floating) position permissible in the third trimester of pregnancy, or should it be avoided? I know that on land, it should be avoided; in water is there any risk involved? 

Answer
In the water, you don’t have gravity acting on the abdomen, compressing the inferior vena cava (this is the problem on land). Therefore supine is not a concern in the water, with respect to circulation. Doing a lot of supine work, however, can cause neck strain: I do little of it— other than the occasional stretch, or “snow angels” for range of motion at the hip and shoulder.

Question
In deep water, if a pregnant participant cannot tolerate the aquatic belt, what other options can I offer her? I know that one option would be to ride a noodle; could a participant also use foam dumbbells under each arm—limiting the time to 10 minutes in order to prevent strain of the shoulder girdle joint? Is this a viable option, or would it be better to use the pool wall?

Answer
My preference would be to 'ride the noodle' if the belt is too uncomfortable. I know some women who wear the belt above the belly, and some who wear it below. The participants can ‘play’ with those options and make the best choice for themselves. Sometimes, if a client has enough body fat, she may pass the float test (float in a vertical “T” position, arms out to the sides and still, legs straight down and still). If the participant does not sink to below her chin and neck, she will not need a belt to work in the deep end. The use of dumbbells under the arms is not recommended: it impedes circulation to the hands, and can put pressure on the delicate plexus of nerves in the arm pit. If none of the above options work, and a belt is too uncomfortable, I would suggest exercising in shoulder to chest depth water until after the pregnancy is over.
Hope that helps, Connie Jasinskas, CALA Master Trainer

Question
The Pregnant Aquafitness Participant:
I have a pregnant woman in one of my water running classes and her doctor was saying to her that her maximum heart rate would be lower because she is pregnant. Do you know how to calculate maximum heart rate for a pregnant participant? Could you give me some idea of how hard she should be working?

Answer - Compliments of Connie Jasinskas, M. Sc., CALA Master Trainer:
Access the wisdom of Dr. James F. Clapp, Exercising Through Your Pregnancy, HK Publishers, 1998, p 27: “To assume you can use a standard target heart rate formula... as a satisfactory guide for assessing the safety, health effects, and training effects of any exercise regimen during pregnancy seems unwise. During pregnancy, the exercise heart rate has value only when it is continuously monitored, interpreted in the context of pregnancy, and compared with serial measures that reflect exercise intensity and physiological effect (how hard it feels, oxygen consumption, fetal heart rate response, fatigue, and so on)... In summary, no matter what her age or what stage she's at in pregnancy, how a pregnant woman feels before, during, and after a workout appears to be a better index of her health, safety, and quality of the workout than her heart rate response." From my experience, monitoring Heart Rate in the water is next to impossible unless the subject is wearing a waterproof heart rate monitor. Perceived exertion at a "somewhat hard" level is where she wants to be. As long as she has a healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy and is cool and comfortable, she can safely go up to 'hard' intervals, according to Dr. Clapp.

Question
Exercise Design for Breast Cancer:
I have several participants who are recovering from Breast Cancer treatment that involved varying degrees of tissue removal. The mobility in the upper body is affected, especially in the shoulder, upper back, arm and chest regions. What exercises would you recommend?

Answer - Compliments of Connie Jasinskas:
Any and all CALA arm movements are great, since they provide a variety of joint angles and forces for the arms and shoulder girdle. Emphasize a 'scapular-set' for all upper body exercise: roll the shoulders up then back, then down, and fix the scapulae (shoulder blades) low and centred toward the mid back. This is the strongest, most functional position for upper body work. The thing that needs to be emphasized for Breast Cancer clients is FULL range of motion of the shoulder joint, so the stretch section at the end of class could be increased if water temperature allows. Do a number of slow stretches overhead, interspersed with shoulder girdle adduction and abduction (round the shoulders & rotate the humerus inward, then pull the shoulder blades together, open the chest, and rotate the humerus outward by pointing the thumbs back). They could also be given some extra stretches to be done in the shower. An excellent one is to stand with your hip next to a wall (your feet parallel to the wall), and with a straight arm, trace a circle on the wall from your hip at the front ... all the way overhead...to your hip at the back. Standing close to the wall is more advanced, standing farther from the wall is a gentler stretch.

Question:
What kind of quad stretch do you recommend for people with knee problems? They cannot really bend the knee too much, let alone grab the ankle.

Answer:
In chest deep water, have the participant stand in a ski position (one leg forward, one back), then cue the following:
• pull forward with the arms using a unison breast stroke movement, so the body is balanced over the front leg of the ski stance,
• lean forward slightly in the torso, and bring the back foot off the pool floor,
• then, bring that same heel up toward the surface of the water. No need to hang on to the heel. Note: Buoyancy will help bring the back leg up toward the surface, stretching the hip flexors and quadriceps muscles of the back leg. 

In deep water
:
• get into a ski position and hold this position,
• press front leg up toward the surface & dorsi-flex ankle (stretching hamstrings, gastrocnemius & soleus of front leg), 
• pull back knee BACK behind hip; back foot up toward surface of water, stretching quadriceps and hip flexors of the back leg,
• scull with hands and arms to maintain vertical balance. After ~10 - 15 seconds, split the stretch further (open the legs). Repeat this 2 - 3X before changing sides. Again, no need to hang on to the back foot. The knee is not in danger of any inappropriate forces.

Question
What does (I am not sure if I remember the term properly) diastasis recti mean?

Answer: by Connie
This is a separation of the rectus abdominis muscles during pregnancy. The connective tissue running between the two halves of the rectus muscles softens in response to the hormones of pregnancy (relaxin). If the abdomen is profoundly stretched, the two halves of the rectus muscle will tend to take the shortest route when the rectus abdominis muscles are activated. This means they will tend to move laterally to travel a straight line from the sternum to the pubis,and not have to work over the large expanse of the abdomen. The split can be made worse by doing aggressive abdominal work (ie: crunches on land) once the split has begun. Aqua natal exercise does not place the same forces on the rectus muscles, providing aggressive tucking actions are not performed. Therefore, it is a useful way for women who are experiencing diastasis recti to maintain core strength.

Question
In the CALA Basics Manual, Chapter 6, page 40. It says that lactic acid build up is not involved in DOMS. What is the reason for DOMS? Is it the microscopic muscle tears from repeated eccentric contractions only?

Answer: by Connie
My understanding is that the exact cause of DOMS isn't fully understood/proven, but we do know that it isn't lactic acid, because that is metabolized during recovery. The “muscle tear” theory seems one of the most likely, and it includes evidence that there is cellular swelling (lymph dealing with the injured tissues)... resulting in that “tight feeling” one gets after vigorous exercise.

Question:
What is the result of lactic acid build up in the event that active recovery was not done after vigorous exercise?

Answer: by Connie
My understanding is that the lactic acid gets metabolized anyway. Active recovery enhances circulation and the recovery process at a cellular level. Active recovery is more likely to enhance performance when it is not at the end of a workout, per se, but used as a rest interval, with more work to follow.

Question
Jennifer Oman asked a question about including stretching during the warm up phase of a class.

Answer:
Stretching at the beginning of a class, or after a warm up is not currently recommended on land. Add the thermal conductivity of water and you have an even stronger case against pausing to stretch. A pause to stretch would allow the muscles which have just been warmed up to get cold. Then trying to get the muscles to stretch seems like a juxtaposition. We all know the relationship between cold muscle tissue and the ability to stretch. Also, the energy level which is built during the warm up to motivate and focus the participants may slip if a stretch portion is added. Include 1/2 tempo* and, or 1/4 tempo full range of motion movements in the warm up along with tempo movements. During the 1/2 and 1/4 tempo, dynamic stretching can be integrated. For example, large full range of motion walking at 1/4 tempo, with a cue to keep the heel on the pool bottom for as long as possible ( within the music) before starting the next step. Encourage toe-ball-heel landing and you will have designed a dynamic stretch of the gastrocnemius and soleus muscle in the calf region. *Tempo guidelines are based on music between 118 and 126 beats per minute. A Tidal Wave - Volume I Music Tape, 90 minutes of the correct tempo, suitable for Aquafitness, step, gentle aerobics and muscle conditioning is available for purchase through CALA. 

Question
Dear Charlene: I need some advice on water depth... In each group, I always have 5 participants who are short compared to the other 20. They have a lot of trouble handling the water, which is about to their neck. If I lower the floor (it's a one level pool with a moving floor), the other 20 participants have water about to the chest, even lower for some. Last week, I adjusted the water to the shoulder level of the short people, but the tall ones didn't have enough water to work with. Moves like TARZAN and the FLASHER didn’t work for the taller people. Some participants bent their knees, and others hunched their shoulders forward in order to do the moves with their arms under the water. Neither of these alterations are safe or effective for my participants. Should I adjust to the chest of the shorter people, so that everyone can enjoy the class? Or should I maintain the level higher of water and penalize the shorter people? My-Linh Diep, CALA graduate

Answer:

Dear My-Linh: My recommendation is to keep the floor at a level where the majority of the class is armpit depth and all arm moves work well for them. Give the 5 shorter people a deep water belt. With the flotation belt they can perform the movements suspended and water depth is no longer an issue. However, you will have to offer choices for deep and chest deep movements, when leading. As you know the ‘horse’ and ‘pendulum’ moves do not work in deep water, so you will have to instruct the people who are suspended to do other moves which work in deep water like cross country ski or jumping jack. If you do not have aqua belts, then the participants can order some from H2Owear. I have found that many participants appreciate the opportunity to have their own flotation belt and feel proud to bring it to class. I hope this helps you. I like the question and believe it is a common problem with pool depth and varying heights of participants. Good luck!

Aqua Flotation Belts can be purchased through H2OWearhttp://www.h2owear.com/H2O-Wear-Flotation-Belt/productinfo/FBLT/ 
Detailed Description Feel secure and relaxed for your deep water workout. Custom-molded, non-chafing flotation belt is designed for comfort and freedom of movement. Adjusts to fit waist sizes 28" to 40".

CALA Training FAQ Questions

Can I earn CEC's?

CECs can be earned depending on the course and workshop.  

How do I know what is currently offered.? 

Refer to the Upcoming for a list of current offerings. If you do not see the course or workshop that you are looking for, contact CALA to discuss your requirements and the possibility of you hosting the session.

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Who do I speak to if I want to host a workshop or course.?

Contact CALA's Host Affiliate Manager to discuss hosting opportunities.
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Do I have to be a member to attend a workshop?

No, workshops are open to everyone. The membership price is less than the non-membership price. You may want to consider becoming a CALA member so that you can benefit from the reduced rates.

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Can I also get credits from other fitness organizations by attending a CALA courses?

Yes, you can earn credits (CECs) with many provincial, national and international organizations. CALA actually applies for accreditation on an annual basis with various groups including:

  • Ontario Fitness Council (OFC)
  • Canadian Association of Fitness Professionals (CanFitPro)
  • YWCA, YMCA 
  • SPRA (Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation)
  •  
  • BCRPA (British Columbia Recreation and Parks Association - renewal credits), AFLCA (Alberta Fitness Leaders Certification Association) 
  • NSFLLA (Nova Scotia Fitness Leaders and Lifestyle Association), etc. 

Quite often other organizations will accept participation at a CALA event as credits to maintain certification. For example:

  • H2OZ (Australia Water Fitness)
  • LEAD (German Fitness Company)
  • South African Water Fitness Association (SAWFA)
  • Aquatic Exercise Association (AEA) etc.

Conference FAQ Questions

Why is the CALA "Exclusively Water" Conference offered?

This international educational event provides an opportunity to bring together fitness and other health care professionals with an interest in utilizing water as a tool for training and/or healing the body, mind and spirit.

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What happens at this conference? 

A variety of diverse workshops and classes are offered featuring general and unique forms of aquafitness, aquatic rehabilitation and specialty water exercise.

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What is a Workshop?

Workshops vary in format and topic. Each conference includes areas of interest for participants, new and experienced leaders, coaches, lifeguards, aquatic facility supervisors and managers.

Workshop topics span areas of interest which include aquafitness and aquatic rehabilitation plus specialty water exercise. While reading a past CALA "Exclusively Water" conference brochure you may find some of the following topics on offer. This list provides a limited sampling of the diverse topics that CALA offers: 

  • Water Yoga
  • Aqua Cycling
  • Maximum Aqua Abdominals
  • Aqua Africana
  • Aqua Kick Box
  • Aqua Sport
  • Aqua Arms: Training the Upper Body
  • Aqua Arthritis Update
  • Aqua and Fibromyalgia
  • Aquafitness for Breast Cancer
  • The Healing Power of Water
  • Diaper Fit
  • Aqua Natal
  • Deck Tech: Fine tuning Leadership Skills
  •  
  • Communicate to Motivate, Educate and Stimulate
  • Bridging and Linking - Smooth transitions
  • Aqua Interval Training
  • Low Impact and Non-impact Water Running
  • Seniors Strength Training
  • Aqua Personal Training
  • Use Your Noodle
  • Maximizing the Aquafitness Workout
  • Stability Training in Water
  • Water Running and Aqua Jogging
  • Tethered Training
  • Gentle Range of Motion Aqua

And many more...

Workshop Formats: Workshops range in length from 1.5 to 5 hours in length. During a 2 hour workshop, the following agendas are utilized: Pool - refers to chest deep, deep or a combination of chest deep and deep water sessions.

  • Two hours of pure lecture based applied theory, in a classroom setting
  • One hour of applied theory and one hour of active land based movement
  • One hour of active land based movement and one hour of pool
  • One hour of applied theory and one hour of pool
  • Two hours of active land based movement which applies theory to movement

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What is a class theme?

A class is a wonderful opportunity to exercise with like-minded people who enjoy the water. There are no expectations of fitness level or ability.

Class themes include:  

  • Aqua Africana
  • Aqua Abba
  • Mozart Does Water
  • Fishy Tricks
  • Aqua Calypso- Brazilian Style
  • Aqua Yoga
  • Aqua Boot Camp
  • Aqua Muscle
  • Extreme Water Running
  • Aqua Team Teaching
  • Aqua Rock
  • Aqua Disco Daze

And many more...

Class formats are generally 45 to 60 minutes in length and are conducted in chest deep, deep or a combination of chest deep and deep water. 

Participants of any age, size, gender and fitness level are invited to jump in the water and have some fun, or take notes on deck while observing the creative ideas shared by presenters.

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Who can attend the conference?

The conference is an open forum for participants, new and experienced leaders, personal trainers, lifeguards, pool and fitness centre supervisors and managers and land based instructors interested in adding water to their repertoire of expertise.
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Do I have to be fit to register for the conference?

Fitness level and experience are of no consequence. An interest in learning and a love of water are two ingredients which will make your conference experience fulfilling.

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If I am an Older Adult, or a Teenager, is this conference appropriate for me?

CALA has offered 11 successful conferences and several regional conferences, since 1993, all of which have welcomed and provided valuable learning opportunities for people of varying ages and levels of experience. The oldest conference participant was 78 years young and the youngest participant was 16 years old (In 1998, at the  7th Annual conference, hosted by the University of Guelph, a group of 10 children lead the Grand Finale Conference master class. The children ranged in aged from 5 to 14 years. The class participants went wild, hooting and hollering to encourage the young leaders and to show their appreciation for a wonderful experience and a job well done).

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If I attend a CALA conference, can I earn Continuing Education Credits (CECs)?

Yes, you will earn one CALA CEC per hour of workshop or class that you attend. If you attend 12 hours of sessions, you will earn 12 CALA CECs.

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Can I also get credits from other fitness organizations by attending a CALA conference?

Yes, you can earn credits (CECs) with many provincial, national and international organizations. CALA actually applies for accreditation on an annual basis with various groups including:

  • Ontario Fitness Council (OFC)
  • Canadian Association of Fitness Professionals (CanFitPro)
  • YWCA, YMCA 
  • SPRA (Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation)
  • BCRPA (British Columbia Recreation and Parks Association - renewal credits), AFLCA (Alberta Fitness Leaders Certification Association) 
  • NSFLLA (Nova Scotia Fitness Leaders and Lifestyle Association), etc. 

Quite often other organizations will accept participation at a CALA event as credits to maintain certification. For example:

  • H2OZ (Australia Water Fitness)
  • LEAD (German Fitness Company)
  • South African Water Fitness Association (SAWFA)
  • Aquatic Exercise Association (AEA) etc.

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Are CECs useful to me if I have not completed certification with CALA?

Yes, you can earn Continuing Education Credits (CECs) at the CALA conference (and other educational events) and bank them for future use, when you do decide to complete CALA certification.

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What else is offered at the CALA conference in addition to the educational sessions?

A Trade Show is open during the event. This show highlights industry related vendors who offer their products at discounted rates. The vendors include companies that sell music, educational resources, clothing, nutritional supplies, beauty products, vitamins, and other aquatic and fitness related products. CALA always has an exciting booth which sells a variety of CALA merchandise at reduced rates (including aqua flotation belts, aqua matt, replacement straps, T- shirts, RYKA 2 Aquatic fitness shoes, water bottles, music etc). 

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If I am interested in being a presenter, how do I apply?

We welcome new and experienced presenters. Contact CALA and request a presenter application. Email is the best method: cala@interlog.com . If you have any questions, include them in the email, or call the head office at 1-888-751-9823.
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I would like to volunteer at an upcoming CALA conference. How do I apply to be a volunteer?

We welcome hard working, committed volunteers to assist our team. Contact CALA, to receive a Conference Volunteer Application package.

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What type of volunteer positions are available?

CALA needs volunteers before, during and after the event. Some of the volunteer duties include: assembling the participants packages, working the registration desk, taking attendance at each session, providing direction and assistance at the venue, calling members, processing conference registrations, reminding members and non-members of the event, securing exhibitors for the trade show, making arrangements for guest speakers, pre-arranging, setting up and serving food and beverages, taking pictures, gathering and collating feedback, ensuring all rooms and pool areas are properly set up for presenters and assisting presenters as required during their session, cleaning up the conference venue when needed - and many more. It is fun and rewarding, believe me! CALA has had some of the same volunteers for 11 years running.

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Are there opportunities to network with other instructors at a CALA conference?

Yes, you will meet many new people at the event. Presenters interact with delegates before and after the sessions. You will feel like you have become a part of a big, happy, open and warm family. You can meet instructors from across Canada and from other countries. Many delegates continue to network in the months following the conference and look forward to meeting one another each year. The circle of friendship grows larger and larger with each event.

WHEN and WHERE is the next CALA conference?

CALA will be finalizing the 2004 "Exclusively Water" Conference dates and location in the next few months. Stay tuned to the web page. As soon as these details are confirmed, they will be added to this site. CALA plans to return to the Etobicoke Olympium, but they are undergoing massive renovations which may preclude our booking. We are also researching locations for upcoming REGIONAL conferences - all over Canada.  CALA could be coming to your city!

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Are any of the sessions filmed?

Yes, CALA does film many of the sessions. Participants are told the session will be filmed and used for promotion and sale. Participants have the choice to be in the film or not. They can move their position to ensure they will not be filmed.

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Is it possible to change sessions on the day of the conference?

While it is not promoted or encouraged, yes, if the session is not full, participants may change sessions by going to the registration desk on site or contacting CALA before the event. To get credit for a session you must be accounted for on the attendance list. If for some reason you are removed from the first session but not added to the replacement session, you would not receive credit for attending the replacement session. It is your responsibility to make sure you are on the correct attendance list.

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The conference sounds excellent, when can I sign up?

Contact CALA and we will indicate on your record that you would like to register. When the conference brochure arrives at your doorstep, be sure to fill it out immediately and send in your registration. This will ensure you get your first choices for each time block in the conference.

CALA FAQ Questions

Who is CALA? 

The Canadian Aquafitness Leaders Alliance Inc. (CALA) is an international, educational organization with a mandate to provide high quality training, certification and access to current information for its members and others in the active living community. Our courses are research based and provide a strong network for aqua fitness leaders, aquatic post rehabilitation specialists, personal trainers and coaches. CALA promotes professionalism and excellence through thoughtful integration of the mind, body and spirit.

What are the benefits of getting certified as a CALA Leader?

  • Open up employment opportunities: Facilities are in need of qualified & motivated CALA leaders

  • Teach SAFE and EFFECTIVE classes, certifications are fast becoming a requirement

  • Earn Continuing Education Credits with a variety of organizations

  • Receive accreditation for ‘Instructor Recertification Credits’ with LSS (Lifesaving Society) by attending CALA events

  • Increase your hourly wage and learn more about the latest aquafitness trends

  • Become unique! Choose to teach an Aquatic Specialty (i.e Aqua Running, Aqua Natal, Aqua Post-Rehab, Aqua for Kids, etc...)

  • Maintain or regain a healthy and fit lifestyle with an enjoyable part time job teaching water fitness

  • Utilize the skills you learn now to start your own business by organizing classes in your community

What are the steps to become CALA Certified to teach Group Aqua fitness?

A. Attend a CALA Foundations of Vertical Water Training – The Kopansky Method Course followed by the CALA Group Aqua Fitness Leadership Training Specialty Course

B. Successfully complete an OPEN BOOK Theory Exam after completion of the Foundations Course

C. Successfully complete a 30 minute practical assessment (receive 1:1 personalized feedback) and a Group Aqua Fitness Assignment

D. Maintain CALA Membership in good standing

What are the other specialties and programs that CALA offers?

  • CALA Healing Waters Program: Intro to Aquatic Post Rehabilitation Prep Course and Aqua Arthritis & Joint Disorders Specialty Course (other modules under development include: Back Care, MS, Cardiac Rehab, Motor Vehicle Accident)

  • CALA Aqua for Healthy Older Adults Specialty Course

  • CALA Aqua for Kids: ‘Splish Splash’ Specialty Course

  • CALA Aqua Infused Martial Arts (Kick Box) Specialty Course

  • CALA Aqua Personal Training Specialty Course

  • CALA Aqua Natal Specialty Course

  • CALA Aqua Running Specialty Course

  • CALA Intro to Aquafitness Student Clinic

  • Workshops: Over 100 topics including: Liquid Aqua Muscle, Aqua Deep Choreography, Aqua Cycle, Beyond Abs and more.

  • CALA TeleClasses –Gain knowledge and network with other leaders from the comfort of your own home!

Do you offer CEC’s?

CALA Events are eligible for Continuing Education Credits (CEC’s) / Professional Development Credits (PDC’s) / Renewal Credits with a variety organizations including LSS, CanFitPro, OFC, AFLCA, NSFA, SPRA, BCRPA, YM/YWCA.. See the website www.calainc.org for full list.

Where can I find out about upcoming courses in my area?

Easy! Call or Email CALA with your name, phone number and email address: We will ensure you receive monthly updates and PRIORITY notification courses, conference, continuing education workshops and master classes. Call 416-751-9823 or toll free 1-888-751-9823. Email cala@interlog.com 

Is it easy for my facility to HOST A CALA course for instructors or a MASTER CLASS for participants?

Absolutely! It is convenient, easy to organize and facilities have the opportunity to earn $revenue$ and subsidize staff registrations by hosting a CALA event. To receive a full information package, email CALA or call us today.

Should I consider a CALA Membership and how much are the courses?

There are many benefits of having a CALA Individual or Corporate Membership. Discounted rates on CALA events, merchandise, educational materials, early registrations, newsletters, job postings, access to members-only section (coming soon!) on the CALA website. Course fees are competitive for the of training hours and high quality of the programs; plus you have the option to pay in installment plans - ask us for details!

What type of equipment, music and videos do you sell?

Instructor non-slip Safety Mats, Aqua Flotation Belts, "Tidal Wave" Aqua Fitness CD’s, Ryka Aqua Shoes, AQX Aqua Training Shoes, Shirts, Vests, Jackets, Backpacks, Water Bottles, Manuals and much more. Videos and DVD’s on the way! For details, www.calainc.org 

When can I get started? 

NOW!!!

How has CALA training helped rejuvenate  Aqua Fit programs.

Answer 1

I work for The Hills Health Ranch in 108 Mile, BC - a wellness resort.  108 Mile is approximately 5 hours north of Vancouver and the population of our area is under 5000 people.  We do not have a municipal facility, so we hold aquafitness classes in The Hills hotel pool.  We have a wonderful group of women who have been coming for years - it is the only program that has a 'local' following.  Since we started the CALA program (I was trained with CALA over 4 years ago and brought CALA to The Hills 2 years ago) our attendance has doubled - consistently!  We offer aquafitness everyday at 11am, and during the week, our numbers range from 12-16+ locals and  whatever guests are staying - sometimes our numbers are up to 25! (if you saw our pool, you would be impressed!).  The participants have taken responsibility for their own training and bodies, work very hard to the best of their ability,  and have no more complaints (ah! This is the really great part!)!

In CALA, we offer a serious, educational, always dynamic approach to aquafitness.  We have a wonderful team who recognizes the value of training in the water for all levels:  seniors to athletes to people with injuries to pre/post natal women, and more.  We have marketing tips to help to bring in a clientele that normally would not think of exercising in the water (for example, 108 has a surprisingly large group of runners / triatheletes, and I am in the process of drawing them to the water for cross training with 'Water Running').  

Shelagh Noonan
108 Mile, BC
CALA-BCRPA Aquafitness Trainer

Answer 2

I am the programs coordinator at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.  I want to ensure you that the money spent to train your instructors with CALA is a wise investment.  CALA is an organization that is about more than just the certification process...they are a committed to providing a high standard of aquatic leadership through continued education and support.  Once you become part of CALA, you become part of a family which will help your facility grow and prosper.  From day one, CALA has been there to answer any questions that I might have, and believe me, I have a lot of questions.  I have been in the fitness industry for almost 20 years, and of all the courses and associations that I have been affiliated with, CALA definitely is on the top of the list.  The course outline is longer than most Aquafit programs out there, however, it thoroughly gives you hands-on practical application along with the theory that is needed to make for a top notch leader.  Most other course provide participants with a condensed version of theory and not much practical application and push the participants out the door with no mentoring or reputable certification process.

When I came on board at Acadia, there was no consistency, growth or variety to our Aquafit program, which was very frustrating to both the staff and participants.  Since then, we have doubled our Aquafit attendance, and the rehabilitation centers now recognize the high quality of CALA training and refer clients to us to take part in regular Aquafit classes for post rehab (we also do aquatic personal training and work with the athletics departments to cross train sports specific groups).  Aquafit isn't "just for seniors" anymore and can be adapted to all fitness levels and limitations.  50% of my clientel are university age students who, once learning the advantages of training in water verses land, much prefer to go to an Aquafit class rather than a land based class.  The beauty of working with CALA is that you learn how to market and improve your client base.  CALA provides leaders with the ability to not just lead a class, but to educate while they lead.

 was so impressed with the CALA approach, that I have spent the last year working towards becoming a trainer for the CALA program.  I was fortunate to meet and be able to work with Shelagh Noonan over the last year and she is an awesome trainer.  The two of us joke as we are the Canadian Shanghi Noon trainers "east meets west". 

I hope this helps with your decision to bring CALA to your area.  It will be well worth it.

Angela Curry,
Programs Coordinator
Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia

Answer 3

In four years the facility that I teach at has gone from 3 morning aquafitness classes to 10 each week. The clientele has become stronger, healthier, and happier. I took a class of 20 who had been exercising in the shallow water for over 20 years, to a clientele base that exceeds 250 in deeper waters. The participants love the variety that I offer; aqua jogging, aqua spinning, aqua tai chi, aqua cardio, and arthritis. They say they love it when they travel to other centers that also have a CALA certified lead class, they understand the cueing, the signs and most of all they know what to expect. They understand their muscles, how to make them work harder in the water, they understand the principals of the water, knowledge they did not know or understand before CALA. I could go on.

I worked with the nay sayers, I was told many times that the participants didn't want to change, and yes there were a few who didn't like it. However the majority loved the changes. The CALA program is solid, no participant could change my mind that the old way was better. It has taken four years to evolve. I only started aqua tai chi this past fall, but they the participants were ready for an additional challenge.

If you have any questions I would love to answer them. 

Marlene Cairns

Response 4

I have been forwarded your email regarding an interested in bringing CALA to your facility. We have been offering CALA aquafitness classes at our facility for the past 7+ years. Our classes average 20-30 people each time. The quality of training our instructors have received from CALA is the reason these classes are so popular. Our customers rave that our classes are fun, energetic and effective.  We have had customers from out of town who say they can tell we offer CALA Quality by the way we teach and that it is by far the best class they've done. In addition to our 7 aquafitness classes per week we also offer 3 Aquajogging classes (we had to add another class due to popular demand). This is also a CALA program that has been very successful for us.  We average 30 people per class ranging in ages and fitness abilities as well as good representation of both male and female.  Many of our Aquajogging participants have said it's the best work out they've ever had!  It's important to note that Whitehorse is a community of around 20,000 people so we're pretty proud of the numbers we get.  From a revenue stand point with mostly adult admissions- CALA training is well worth it. I think your community will be pleasantly surprised with how good Aquafit can be.  Your instructors will enjoy the courses taught by CALA (Shelagh and Charlene are fantastic!) and will be motivated to lead great classes. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask. Best of luck with your programming.

Sharon Denton,
Aquatic Programmer
City of Whitehorse

How often do I have to renew my registration?

You must renew your CALA certification annually. To certify you must have earned 8 CECs and pay an administration fee.

How do I find out about upcoming workshops?

All CALA workshops, courses and conferences are posted immediately on the CALA website on the Upcoming page. If you don't see what you are looking for, please contact CALA. We are welcome new host facilities.

If I accumulate more than the minimum number of renewal credits, may I use my extra credits for the next registration period?

Yes, CALA banks your CECs. You can use them towards future recertification.

How do I apply for recertification credits from a non-CALA event?

Forward a copy of the workshop outline, length of the workshop and biography of the presenter to the CALA office for review. We will send you a confirmation of credit approval (receipts will not be accepted). An administration fee will be applied. 

What documentation is required as proof that I attended an approved workshop?

All organizers of CALA-approved workshops must issue a certificate of attendance indicating the number of renewal credits. Receipts will not be accepted.

When do I send my recertification and membership renewal registration information into the CALA office?

CALA will issue a reminder approximately 6 weeks before your membership and recertification are due along with the applicable fees and requirements. Once payment is received you will will receive a membership and recertification renewal confirmation. Please allow 2-3 weeks for this process. Both the membership and recertification are renewed annually on the same anniversary date.

What if I can't complete my recertification requirements before my expiry date?

CALA keeps a record of all your earned and used CECs. You can take them anytime during the year. Once you have enough CECs you can stop earning them for that year. Any additional CECs earned during that year will be applied to the next period.

What's in the Wavelink newsletter?

The Wavelink contains CALA-offered workshops and courses, plus a list of stores of interest and industry related, lists of participants in recent workshops and course, new certification, tips and hints and questions and answer. 

How do I apply to become a CALA Trainer?

Contact the CALA office and refer to the Become A Trainer page on the site. Someone from CALA will contact you directly to discuss upcoming Trainer training sessions.

Where do I find music?

There are many sources of fitness music: Power Productions, Burntrax, Muscle Mixes and Dynamix, to name a few. Many music companies offer discounts at fitness conferences. Or, you can purchase fitness tapes over the phone or on the Internet. Contact individual companies to receive their catalogues.

What happens if someone gets hurt in my class or during a training session?

Follow your CPR/First Aid training and facility procedures, document what happened.

What happens to my registration when I move?

Contact CALA to make sure their records are current and correct. You CALA certification is valid throughout Canada and Internationally. If you leave the country, you should contact CALA to determine if your membership should be converted to an international membership.

Why do I need to maintain my membership?

Although membership with CALA is not mandatory to work in all fitness facilities, it is always a benefit to receive professional recognition.

What level of CPR and First Aid is required?

CALA does not require you to have CPR and First Aid training but your place of employment may have this as a condition of employment.

Can I add specialty designations, such as Water Running or Kick Box?

CALA offers a number of specialty courses that you can become certified in. Check out the specialty courses under Training and Events.

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Aquafitness FAQ

What temperature should the water be?

One factor that needs to be taken into consideration is the target audience.

  • If your clientele is older, or unfit, the water may need to be warmer: 85 to 86 degrees F.
  • If the clientele is very fit the water could be between 83 and 85 degrees F.
  • If this is gentle ROM class for therapeutic purposes, he water needs to be warmer: 88 to 92 degrees F.

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Is a class broken down into sections?

Yes, to ensure a total body workout the instructor will lead you through 4 phases during your session, those being warm up, cardio, muscle strength and endurance and stretch. Each phase has a purpose and your instructor will ask you to do each exercise in a specific way depending on the phase. You should always follow your instructors leads while working at your own level.

Phase 1 - Warm-up is used to do just that. It warms up the body and muscles, lubricates the joint and starts the kick starts the heart.

Phase 2 - Cardio 

Phase 3 - Muscle Strength and Endurance. Your leader will take you through a number of exercises that will help build your muscles and increase their endurance. These exercises may include repeated movement with one leg and then repeated on the other leg. These exercises may be repeated 4 times with a break in between to allow the muscle(s) to relax. An example is repeated hamstring curls.  You may do 4 sets of 15 seconds on each leg and then 1 minute of a variety of swivels.

Phase 4 - Stretch - Your leader will lead you through stretches and holds that will ensure the full body is stretched before you leave the water. It is important that these stretches be done at the end of a session.

Do I have to be fit to participate in Aquafitness?

Fitness level and experience are of no consequence. An interest in learning and a love of water are two ingredients which will make your Aquafitness experience fulfilling. You should always first check with your doctor before commencing any exercise. Depending on certain medical conditions you may need to alter some movements to ensure your safety (these include but not exclusive to: natal, hip replacement, arthritis).

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What are the benefits of Aquafitness?

Water workouts are a great way to keep fit. Because of its unique physical properties, water provides the ideal environment for exercise. The natural buoyancy of water reduces weight bearing stress, allowing greater ease of movement with less strain on bones, joints, and muscles. The increased density of water creates even and fluid resistance, comfortably toning and strengthening muscles with greater balance and efficiency

CALA has provided an extensive list of benefits on the Aquafitness page. Aquafitness allows you to do similar to land exercises without the impact that may injure your joints.  

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Aquafit Questions and Answers 

Question

Do you ever do water running in chest depth as an alternative? The pool in this hotel is chest depth so good for aqua but does not have any deep water. I would like to do 2 sessions together and I am thinking about an alternative for the 2nd session. Any suggestions? What do you do in Canada? It could be mothers and toddlers.

Answer

Yes, I have done water running at chest depth, you have to cue a 'toe ball heel' landing if you are running at speed, or you need to integrate half tempo moves with deliberate 'toe ball heel' landings to ensure the calf (gastrocnemius/soleus) muscles do not tighten up. Add some walking as well in the warm up and cool down, which is a 'heel, ball toe' rolling landing.

Get in the water yourself and see what you feel works with regards to running in chest deep water. Although deep is best for water running, because of the zero impact, chest deep can work really well, if carefully designed. You will not need tethers or flotation belts.

Mothers and toddlers is super fun too. I could do a workshop on that topic the next time I am in Wales. You might want to put those two topics forward for Fitness Wales... 'chest deep water running' and 'mothers and toddlers'. I would love to do those workshops.

.1. Questions: There is OA and there is Osteoporosis.  I believe that Osteoporosis is not arthritic...

  • Would you take a person with Osteoporosis in the deep, deep suspended or would the pressure be too much on their fragile sternum, spine and rib-cage?
  • Would you stay chest or shoulder deep on a noodle instead?
  • Would you have light contact exercises to build bone density?

1.  Answer: Charlene Kopansky, CALA Master Trainer, Founder and President:

First of all, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis are two different conditions.. OA involves arthritis in the bones, caused by wear and tea. Osteoporosis on the other hand, is a decrease in bone density to a level considered to be a medical condition. People with advanced osteoporosis are prone to spontaneous fractures and susceptible to injury of the bone when doing any impact activities, or quick movements.

Yes, I would take people with osteoporosis into deep water. I would design exercises to increase muscle and bone density. I would offer a variety of exercise intensities (primarily using surface area manipulations) and ensure the individual listens to their own body and chooses the level of intensity appropriate to their condition and stage of osteoporosis. I would avoid any quick changes in direction or exercise and simply change one aspect of a movement at a time.

2.  Question:

Pam wrote: I am a FM sufferer and would like more information on your FibroMoves. I want to try it and ask the college pool trainer if they will import this program in their schedule. 

My name is Kathy and currently I am the only FibroMoves instructor. The program was originally created by McMaster University (Hamilton, Canada) and the Kitchener YWCA however they discontinued it because of funding issues. I was a participant in the program at that time and found that it was the only thing that helped me to deal with my fibromyalgia. Since I couldn’t cope without it, I contacted local pools to run it on spec with me as the voluntary leader since I have a teaching background and was a lifeguard…I was not unqualified. The program has grown and I became a qualified CALA instructor. We now have a one hour class five days a week with over 75 participants on my list. We run the program through the Canadian Aquafitness Leaders Alliance Inc. (CALA). 

If your pool trainer is interested, they can contact Charlene Kopansky at CALA, cala_aqua@mac.com regarding having a trainer come to start up a FibroMoves program.  Kathy Zador, CALA Certified, Clearly Qualified

3. Comment

Hi Charlene,  I thoroughly enjoyed your recent full day of workshops in the UK! Wow, inspiring.

I don't know if you remember I was talking to you about a guy in Morgan & my classes who has lost an impressive amount of weight using aqua (he was not keen on dieting).  The client, Ian was taking up to 200 painkillers for arthritis and with the use of glucosomine and aqua is not only active but no longer requires medication. He is still a very heavy guy but keeps up his 5 - 6 aqua classes each week as he travels between Hampshire and Kent. but keeps up his 5 - 6 aqua classes each week as he travels between Hampshire and Kent. It is so great to see the how positive Ian has become! Aqua is awesome!

4. Question 

Certified Instructor, Deb Cole (Group Aquafitness and Healing Waters: Aqua Arthritis), Garden Bay, British Columbi
"Are there any concerns about pregnant women and wearing the Aqua belts? I would imagine it would be okay to wear it above the belly and have it where it is comfortable. We haven’t really had anybody who is pregnant come to the programs so thought I should check on this and, if there any particular exercises not recommended for a pregnant lady."

4. Answers

Three CALA Trainer perspectives:

Kim Magnan, CALA- BCRPA Trainer, Duncan, Vancouver Island: "I saw that you were asking about wearing aqua belts during pregnancy. I attended Aquafit classes up until one week before I delivered my daughter. I was fine wearing the belt high (above my belly). I found that I was able to wear the same size belt through my entire pregnancy...the foam parts ended up being further apart as I got bigger. Some women I have talked to found the belts very uncomfortable, they said they were unstable with the belts and didn't have the core stability to hold themselves vertically in the water. Other women claim the belts make them float too much. One woman I talked to said she preferred to ride a noodle when she was pregnant and attending classes. You will find that it is really an individual thing, so make sure you give lots of options to the pregnant women in your classes and keep reminding them of options as the pregnancy progresses and their body changes."

Charlene Kopansky, CALA Master Trainer, Founder and President, Toronto, Ontario: "Regarding preggies and belts... do the Specific Gravity test, if the person can remain vertical, in deep water, not touching the floor, not moving any body parts and the water is at the tips of the shoulder, they usually don't need a belt. If they sink, while doing the Specific Gravity Test, they need a flotation device of some sort. I prefer the use of a flotation belt, however it needs to be comfortable. I have noticed that most pregnant woman wear the belt just above the belly, while some wear it just below. I think it depends on how the individual is actually "carrying" and at what stage they are in their pregnancy. In most cases, I ask the preggie to assess where the belt is most comfortable and let them make a decision on their own. Also, there is the choice of using a noodle, between the legs. Again, it becomes personal choice and comfort level."

Connie Jasinskas, CALA Master Trainer, Cambridge, Ontario: "Aquanatal is one of my specialties. I would prefer pregnant women ride a noodle like a horse rather than use a belt. A belt above the bump will restrict breathing and blood flow. If riding a noodle is not comfortable for the pelvic area (some people do find this), test to see whether she passes the "T" test - float vertically, with arms abducted to just below the surface of the water, legs straight down & still. If body fat is high enough, many people can float in this alignment. If she is a sinker and can't ride the noodle, I would recommend trying a belt around the hips, below the bump."

 

 

 

 

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