A Resident’s Perspective – “Pooling” Our Thoughts

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. April 2014

Panorama Aquatic and Fitness Center A wonderful “extra” became apparent when we toured Panorama for the first time. Rachel Dobry, our retirement advisor, knowing our interest in swimming, took us through the Aquatic center. In addition to the pools, the center includes three separate gym or physical activity rooms across the hall. We have never been “gym rats,” and I mean that in the nicest sense, but the pool complex (and it IS a complex) delighted us.

We’ve been lap swimmers for years and years, and for the last 20 years, we used a year-round outdoor pool within walking distance of our home. The water temperature always said “80 degrees,” but there were days when we KNEW it was more like 75!!! I have to say we enjoyed winter rain in our face and ambient temperatures of 40 degrees, and the odd hail, and wind. However, then we arrived at Panorama. Now we are spoiled!

Lap swimming is great exercise for lungs, backs, upper arms and legs, but isn’t weight-bearing, so works great for folks with joint issues. We are in a twice a week schedule to do our laps after 3 pm when the many exercise classes and water aerobics  have finished. The pool is a two block walk for us, as are most activity things here at Panorama.

“Retirement with Upgrades” as a selling point surely fits the bill in this facility.

Well, what a luxury!!! The pool picture on the website doesn’t do justice to the size and scope of the pools. The lap pool is 86 degrees, the shorter warmer pool is 92 degrees, and the spa (which my husband endures so he can enjoy the soak) is 102 degrees. After a ½ hour of laps, I can actually be sweating at that temperature; we have gotten so spoiled with it. No need to feel you will be cold, as we used to in our previous open-air pool!!

Many times there is pleasing music piped in and makes the laps very enjoyable. The other thing that I have to comment on is my mention to friends that I enjoy swimming with the fish. Never having seen the Sopranos TV show, I was not totally in the know re: what “swimming with the fishes” could actually mean. I have added a picture here. We ARE in a trout and salmon environment! These are perched high on the wall overlooking the main larger pool.


Aquatic Center Fish

There is a schedule of when lifeguards are in attendance and works for those who feel safer with someone looking over them. They are helpful in operating the hydraulic chair lifts that allow residents with leg strength issues to enjoy both larger pools. Water exercises, even walking in the water if you don’t swim, are beneficial to the entire circulatory system. There are fins and float boards provided so you needn’t tote them to the pool. We find the pool fun as exercise, as we have never found using gym equipment fun. The pools are all shallow, so standing up gets you out of trouble instantly.

The changing rooms and showers are nicely situated with many safety bars and seats. The showers have moveable shower heads so that everyone can safely use them. For the fashion conscious, there is a wall-mounted hair dryer. The added bonus is the water extractor for swim suits, taking less time at home with wet suits drying.

Melissa Thoemke, the aquatic center director, has instituted a fun extra, and that is a card to have initialed any time you use the gym or pool, and when the card is full it goes in the “hat.” She will draw one a month for a free dinner for two.

Aquatic Center schedule print-outs are available for all the activities that this wonderful facility promotes. Stop by if you are new or even is you are a longer time resident and see what might suit your fitness fancy. And don’t forget to wave at us slaving away doing our thirty minutes of laps!!!!

Sandy Bio

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