"Swimming is a timeless exercise that benefits all ages. For parents who want to continue seeing improvement in their children's water skills, the Y offers weekly swim classes at every level," says Erin Pierik, Conejo YMCA executive director.
Albert Chrikjian knows how important it is for kids to be water safe. His two sons, Alexander, age 5 1/2, and Christopher, age 3 1/2, are taking swim lessons at the Y. "They are becoming more water safe," says Chrikjian. "They aren't there yet, but they are learning skills such as floating on their backs. The teachers are patient and always working with the kids. They make the classes fun too."
The Conejo Y, Miller Family YMCA of Newbury Park and the Simi Valley Family YMCA all feature indoor swimming pools, with water temperatures at 84 degrees and hydrotherapy pools at 92 degrees. "It doesn't matter what the temperature is outside. Inside it's always perfect for swimming," says Katie Beck, the Miller Y's executive director.
The Y offers adult swim lessons, water fitness and arthritis programs and a master's swim class for triathletes. Open swimming is available to members.
Jane Law is in the "aquacise" class at the Conejo Y. "I was taking a regular exercise class and noticed the pool," says Law. "I said 'I love to swim, I should be exercising in the pool.'" She has been taking Y water classes for four years. Law says the classes have helped her arthritis. "Before, I couldn't even walk at the Oaks Mall," she says. "Now I can move!"
Doris Henise is Law's fellow student in the program. She discovered the class a little over two years ago. She too has arthritis. "My joints are stiff when I get into the pool, but after swimming I can move without any problems. Swimming is much easier and better for you than pounding the pavement."
For a schedule of fall swim classes, contact the YMCA nearest you: Conejo Valley YMCA, 805-523-7613, Miller YMCA 805-480-0309, Simi YMCA 805-583-5338 or visit www.sevymca.org.
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With branches in Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park, Westlake Village and Simi Valley, the Southeast Ventura County YMCA serves the communities of Newbury Park, Moorpark, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Santa Rosa Valley, Westlake Village, Agoura Hills and Oak Park.