Kickboxing is fun, stress relieving, and a great workout- but it’s not so easy on the joints. Right? Josie Rader, a student seeking her Masters in Gerontology and an intern at Elements, says otherwise. She’s designed a class for older adults that combines kickboxing, core and balance work, and toning—and it’s all in the water.

“Exercising in the water takes away pressure on the joints—especially the knees—and is really helpful for people with arthritis,” Rader said. “What’s great is you’re still burning a lot of calories and your muscles are still working fully. You just don’t realize it as much in water.”

Rader said people can burn anywhere from 300-600 calories in her 45-minute long class, which uses kickboxing moves with weighted pool equipment. This is Rader’s first time teaching an aqua class, but some of the moves mimic the land kickboxing class that she taught at Miami University’s Rec center. Some people in the class have had knee or hip replacements, and the group ranges from very fit to people who may be less mobile on land.


“The water is just magical. On land, they [class participants] may have trouble walking. They may need a walker or even a wheelchair,” Rader said. “But in the water, they have more flexibility. They can stretch without losing their balance, and they can do what they can’t do on land. It gives them more confidence.”

Watching people refuse to give up and helping them meet their goals is Rader’s favorite part of her job.

“We’re taught time and time again in school that age is just a number. It’s cool to see that lived out here. Elements, and all of Community First really breaks down some of the aging stereotypes,” Rader said.


Try an Aqua Class

Join Josie’s Hydrodynamics class, or choose from a variety of aqua classes designed to offer low-impact cardiovascular workouts.

HYDRODYNAMICS The Square | Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays @ 10:30 – 11:15 a.m. The Bever | Tuesdays & Thursdays at 1:30 – 2:15 p.m.

AQUA FIT A great way to get fit in the water! This class will get your heart pumping and muscles toned yet it is easy on your joints and bones. Choreographed to music, this is a fun way to stay fit. (Moderate Intensity)

ARTHIRITIS AQUATICS This class was designed by the Arthritis Foundation to alleviate pain and reduce stiffness and inflammation for those struggling with the ranging effects of Arthritis. (Low Intensity)

SPLASH & BURN This class is a dynamic full-body exercise class that is done completely in the water. It incorporates cardiovascular, plyometric, and strength routines that will target all of the usual stubborn areas; arms, upper back, core, and legs. Set to an upbeat tempo, you will be pushed the full length of the class! (Moderate to High Intensity)

TOTAL BODY H₂0 A class that covers many aspects of fitness, you will use water resistance to generate cardiovascular endurance and muscle conditioning during the first part of the routine. Then take advantage of lower intensity movements by focusing on increasing flexibility while combining key elements of relaxation. This excellent class is perfect for those that like a complete aquatic workout for the body and mind. (Low to Moderate Intensity)

WATER AEROBICS This cardiovascular endurance and resistance training class is easy on your joints and bones, while still managing to elevate heart rate, building strength and toning muscles. (Low to Moderate Intensity) Check our website for a full schedule