Far from a relaxing dip in the shallow end, a new Ottawa workout facility is dropping workout machines into the pool as a way to get fit and recover from injuries.
LiquidGym, which opened last month in the western Ottawa community of Bells Corners, focuses on low-impact workouts on bikes, treadmills and other submerged equipment.
Heather Turmain said she was empowered by trying this “hydrotherapy” for the first time as she waits for a hip replacement and knee surgery.
"I feel that, for the first time, instead of knowing something is wrong and (taking) a pill for the pain, I'm actually going to make a difference in my own health," she said.
LiquidGym owner Karen Snyder said it’s the first facility of its kind in the country and its therapy sessions are covered by many insurance companies.
“It definitely feels like you’re moonwalking,” she said.
"We're basically zero-gravity when you're in water so it's a lot easier to exercise… so if you have any hip or knee issues when you take that step, you don't feel the compression."
Not just for the injured
Marathon runners and members of the Ottawa Senators use similar underwater treadmills.
One lifeguard using the facility said he’s not nursing any injuries, but appreciates the different workout because of water resistance.
"You're working 12 per cent harder to move your muscles through the water as opposed to thin air," said Mike Dougherty.
Annual memberships to the gym are required and cost $25 for adults, with discounts for seniors and students.
Classes and individual equipment rentals are available.