Swimming 101 for Adults

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By Laura Shin From stress relief to reducing the risk of heart disease, there are many reported benefits to swimming. And on a hot summer day in New York City, it's also a great way to cool off. These are just a few reasons why some adults who never learned to swim are signing up to learn now. "Everybody can learn to swim-it has nothing to do with age," said Lori Pailet, managing director of Aqua Skills, a swim instruction group in Manhattan. "There are so many benefits-it's great cardio, great for circulation, great for flexibility and it doesn't hurt your joints." Aqua Skills offers group classes as well as private and semiprivate lessons for adults at different locations in Manhattan. It offers a flexible schedule with classes seven days a week and an "Early Bird" class that begins at 6 a.m., said Pailet. Many other programs also offer beginner swim classes for adults in the city. Mary O'Donoghue, aquatics specialist for the YMCA of Greater New York, said there are five YMCA locations in Manhattan that all offer swimming classes for adults. She said participants range from adults in their twenties to those over the age of 60. "One of our members was 65 when she started taking lessons," she said. "When she grew up, she didn't have the finances or time to learn to swim. She wanted to enjoy the water with her grandchildren, so she decided she was going to do it." The adult beginner classes cover the basics of swimming as well as addressing any fears that adults may have about being in the water. The class is a good fit for adults who have never swum before or those who can swim a little bit but have not gone into deeper water, O'Donoghue said. For more information about Aqua Skills, visit www.aquaskills.com or call 212-206-6976. To find a YMCA location, a class schedule and rate information, visit ymcanyc.org or call 212-630-9600. Below are a few options available in Manhattan: Asphalt Green: Freestyle 101 Learn the basics of freestyle swimming in this intro course-breath control, floating, submersion, kicking and arm movements. Note: Swimmers must be able to comfortably float on their front with their face in the water. Dates: Saturdays, June 30?Aug. 18 Time: 3:30?4:15 p.m. Price: $240 for members, $288 for nonmembers Location: Asphalt Green, 555 E. 90th St. For more info or to register, call 212-369-8890 or visit www.asphaltgreen.org. Private beginner lessons for adults are also available at Asphalt Green for the summer term, which runs June 25 through Aug. 18. Half-hour lessons are $65 per lesson, and 1-hour lessons are $130. For more information, email privatelessons@asphaltgreen.org or call 646-981-2387. NYC Parks: Learn to Swim Program The city's Department of Parks and Recreation offers swimming lessons for people of all ages free of charge. Space is limited and registration is by lottery. Applicants who do not win a spot are placed on a waiting list. Dates: Session 1: July 9?July 24 Session 2: July 25?Aug. 9 Session 3: Aug. 10 ? Aug. 24 Classes are Monday through Friday. Time: 7:15?8:15 p.m. Price: Free Location: Lasker Pool, 110th Street and Lenox Avenue For more info or to register, visit www.nycgovparks.org/registration/aquatics, 92Y: Beginner Swim Group No experience is necessary for this adult beginner swim class, where you'll learn basic skills and proper body alignment. Dates: Sundays, July 29?Aug. 19 Time: 6?7 p.m. Price: From $132 Location: 92Y, Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street For more info, to register or to find more sessions this summer, visit www.92y.org. 92Y also offers "Water Fear Wash-Away for Adults" courses for individuals with aquatic phobias. Check out their website for more details. The Jewish Community Center: Adult Beginner Swim The JCC offers adult learn-to-swim classes taught by American Red Cross-certified instructors. Beginner courses cover the basics: breath control, self-propulsion, buoyancy and water safety skills. Dates: Summer Session: Mondays, June 18?Aug. 13 (classes are prorated for late registrants) Fall Session: Mondays, Sept. 10?Nov. 5 Time: 7:30?8:30 p.m. Price: $315 for members, $405 for nonmembers Location: JCC, 334 Amsterdam Ave. For more info or to register, call 646-505-5708 or visit www.jccmanhattan.org . Physique Swimming Physique Swim School offers adult beginner swim classes throughout the summer at different locations throughout Manhattan, including uptown, the Upper East Side, Midtown East and Downtown. Dates: Various Time: Various Price: $400 for 8 courses, $720 for 16 courses Location: Various For more info or to register, call 212-725-0939 or visit www.physiqueswimming.com/schedule/ny/adult.

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