Wading their way to wellness


By Sam Wildow - [email protected]



Mike Ullery | Daily Call Jackie Jenkins, 87, of Troy, and Aundalee Wintrow, 75, of Piqua, participate in the Arthritis Aquatic Program at the Piqua Branch of the Miami County YMCA on Wednesday.


Mike Ullery | Daily Call Aundalee Wintrow demonstrates the YMCA lift chair that can assist those with mobility issues into and out of the swimming pool.


Mike Ullery | Daily Call Freda Summers, center, who is a retired teacher from Miami East, leads a group of ladies in an Arthritis Aquatic Program at the Piqua Branch of the Miami County YMCA on Wednesday.


Water fitness at the YMCA:

• Fall sessions at the YMCA will be starting up at the end of August, with registration taking place on Aug. 15 for members of the YMCA and Aug. 18 for nonmembers.

• The arthritis aquatics program is designed to improve and maintain joint flexibility, decrease pain, increase muscle town, and coordination, according to the YMCA. No swimming skills are required.

• The fall sessions at the Piqua branch will take place on Mondays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to noon; on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-2 p.m.; and Fridays from 11 a.m. to noon. Participants can choose how many days they attend.

• For more information, contact the Miami County YMCA at the Piqua branch at (937) 773-9622 or at the Robinson branch at (937) 440-9622.

PIQUA — A local woman is regaining her ability to walk again after following her doctor’s advice and taking an aquatics class at the YMCA.

Aundalee Wintrow, 75, of Piqua, participates in an arthritis aquatics course at the Piqua branch of the YMCA, which has a chair lift at their pool that helps her get in and out of the water.

“I couldn’t come to the pool if they didn’t have that,” Wintrow said.

After five weeks of the class, Wintrow was walking on her own again, little by little. She is able to make it across short distances, like from her living room to her kitchen.

“I can take steps. I can move myself from chair to chair,” Wintrow said.

Wintrow is also able to walk on her own in the pool and rely on her own balance, for which she previously would have needed assistance or flotation devices to hold herself up. She has seen a 100 percent improvement on her balance, as she couldn’t stand or hold one foot up before.

“These exercises have helped my movement, not only here, but at home,” Wintrow said. “The exercise is helping me move better.”

In the arthritis aquatics class, participants exercise both their upper bodies and their lower bodies, from walking around the pool to exercising their arms and shoulder muscles.

“We do it all,” Wintrow said.

Wintrow also continues to do other exercises outside of the class, including physical therapy lessons she receives from Fidelity. For Wintrow, exercise does not stop now that she is starting to feel better, but it is a continuous process.

“I still do those exercises daily. It’s something I feel that you’ve got keep up with,” Wintrow said. “You can’t just stop and expect it to work. You’ve got to keep those muscles working all the time.”

Overall, Wintrow has noticed a true difference in herself since participating in the class.

“The things I can do here are remarkable,” Wintrow said.

Wintrow is now able to get out into the community more, from going to the grocery store to going out to eat. “I can get out and do things,” she said.

“I can see such a big change in her,” Wintrow’s daughter, Kathy Hamilton of Daytona Beach, Fla., said. Hamilton traveled to Piqua from Daytona Beach to help take her mother to the arthritis aquatics class. Hamilton said that her mother was very leery at first of taking the class, but now she has also noticed a positive difference in her mother’s health.

“I’ve seen 100 percent improvement. It’s amazing,” Hamilton said. “Now she can get out of her chair … She is able to walk more. She’s able to go out to eat.”

Hamilton said that Wintrow was on so much pain medication that she would fall asleep during the middle of a conversation sometimes. Before, it seemed as if there was no life left in Wintrow at times. Now, Wintrow has been able to cut back on her pain medication — taking about half of what she took before she started the class — and is much more lively around the house.

“I have chronic pain,” Wintrow said. “This has cut down on my pain medication.”

Wintrow is not the only one who has taken exercise to heart. Jackie (Thompson) Jenkins, 87, of Troy, has been participating in the aquatics courses at the YMCA since 1989.

For Jenkins, physical fitness became a part of life for her after her own visit with a doctor.

“I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, and the doctor recommended that I get into the water,” Jenkins said. The water fitness has also helped Jenkins get off some of her pain medication as well.

For 27 years, Jenkins has been a fish out of water after the exercise she did there helped keep her healthy.

“I’d probably be an invalid if I didn’t stay in the water,” Jenkins said.

Physical fitness also does not end at a certain age.

“The older you get, the more you should come,” Jenkins said.

Mike Ullery | Daily Call Jackie Jenkins, 87, of Troy, and Aundalee Wintrow, 75, of Piqua, participate in the Arthritis Aquatic Program at the Piqua Branch of the Miami County YMCA on Wednesday.
http://dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/web1_080316mju_ymca_arthritisaquatics.jpgMike Ullery | Daily Call Jackie Jenkins, 87, of Troy, and Aundalee Wintrow, 75, of Piqua, participate in the Arthritis Aquatic Program at the Piqua Branch of the Miami County YMCA on Wednesday.

Mike Ullery | Daily Call Aundalee Wintrow demonstrates the YMCA lift chair that can assist those with mobility issues into and out of the swimming pool.
http://dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/web1_080316mju_ymca_arthriticaquatics2.jpgMike Ullery | Daily Call Aundalee Wintrow demonstrates the YMCA lift chair that can assist those with mobility issues into and out of the swimming pool.

Mike Ullery | Daily Call Freda Summers, center, who is a retired teacher from Miami East, leads a group of ladies in an Arthritis Aquatic Program at the Piqua Branch of the Miami County YMCA on Wednesday.
http://dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/web1_080316mju_ymca_arthriticaquatics3.jpgMike Ullery | Daily Call Freda Summers, center, who is a retired teacher from Miami East, leads a group of ladies in an Arthritis Aquatic Program at the Piqua Branch of the Miami County YMCA on Wednesday.

By Sam Wildow

[email protected]

Water fitness at the YMCA:

• Fall sessions at the YMCA will be starting up at the end of August, with registration taking place on Aug. 15 for members of the YMCA and Aug. 18 for nonmembers.

• The arthritis aquatics program is designed to improve and maintain joint flexibility, decrease pain, increase muscle town, and coordination, according to the YMCA. No swimming skills are required.

• The fall sessions at the Piqua branch will take place on Mondays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to noon; on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-2 p.m.; and Fridays from 11 a.m. to noon. Participants can choose how many days they attend.

• For more information, contact the Miami County YMCA at the Piqua branch at (937) 773-9622 or at the Robinson branch at (937) 440-9622.

Reach the writer at (937) 451-3336

Reach the writer at (937) 451-3336

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