Wellness Through Water: A Story of Success

Pool time is therapeutic, invigorating and social for Mary Ann Keegan, who enjoys regular aqua aerobic classes at the South Franklin Circle Wellness Center.

“I consider swimming my job,” says Mary Ann, who moved to South Franklin Circle from Chicago so she could be closer to one of her daughters. She’s committed to staying healthy, and pool time is a big part of that effort.

In fact, aquatic physical therapy played a critical role in Mary Ann’s recovery from a serious fall three and half years ago. She suffered three fractures, two in her hip and one in her back.

“I couldn’t walk,” says Mary Ann, relating that she began her recovery at Judson’s Rehabilitation Center at Judson Park. “I was flat on my back for a month,” she says. But once Mary Ann could manage limited activity, she moved back home to South Franklin Circle and began working one-on-one with a Judson physical therapist.

At first, they worked “on land.” But Mary Ann had a strong desire to return to the state-of-the-art pool at South Franklin Circle. So her physical therapist created a water therapy program for Mary Ann instead. “At first, we did simple things like walking back and forth in the pool. I did stretches and would go to the deep end and hang using a tube to hold me up. Just hanging in deep water keeps your spine straight.”

Today, Mary Ann moves about like she did before the fall and is back to all of her regular activities, including a new addition: aquatic aerobics class. The time she spends in the pool is perhaps her favorite.

“It’s just a great overall way to exercise, and the water holds you up—you can do more in water than you could on land,” Mary Ann says, relating that the pool was one factor that attracted her to South Franklin Circle.

These days, Mary Ann is a dedicated aqua aerobics participant. Although she swam in community pools while raising her children, she had never tried water exercise before moving. She saw the wellness offering and thought, “Why not?”

“It’s also an easy way to meet people,” she adds of the social benefit. “We all have something in common because we’re in the pool exercising. Altogether, it’s a win-win.”

Mary Ann calls the pool “a joy” and appreciates the water for therapy, fitness and pleasure. “I’m doing something I enjoy and it keeps me going,” she laughs.

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