Water walking may not be a new workout, but its popularity is heating up this summer. People have used the Drake Springs Pool in Sioux Falls for lap swimming and water walking for years. But after adding a lazy river at the park, water walking's popularity is exploding.
It's proof that it's not all in a name; the Lazy River is full of exercisers, including Jody Fleischhacker and her daughter.
"I'm a runner. I'm a biker. I'm a dog walker," Fleischhacker said.
And now she's a water walker. Fleischhacker first tried out the river at the end of last summer. She's been hooked ever since and couldn't wait to work up a sweat while cooling down in the river as soon as the pools opened this year.
"It's a lot of fun to go with the current, against the current," Fleischhacker said.
Sioux Falls Recreation Program Coordinator Jean Pearson says business has been heating up at the Lazy River not only because of word of mouth but also the workout benefits.
"Being able to use the lazy river is a low-impact workout. It's great for joints. If you have sore joints or if you're recovering from some sort of injury, this is a perfect opportunity for folks to use water therapy," Fleischhacker said.
On some of these hot summer days, you can work up a sweat just standing here. So working out can lead to problems like heat exhaustion. But that's less likely if you're in the water.
"If you were going to run a couple miles over the noon hour, this is a great opportunity to stay cool and keep your body temperature a little bit cooler," Pearson said.
It's also a way to change up your workout routine and work different muscles, not to mention that water provides 12 times the resistance of air.
"I go against the current too. That is like being the salmon. I'm doing the salmon run and it is tough and there are a lot of people who do that too," Fleischhacker said.
That's why Fleischhacker plans to continue working up a sweat in the lazy river.
"I will continue even when it's not hot," Fleischhacker said.
As far as the price of walking in the lazy river, you can get in with a season pass or the regular daily admission fee, which is four dollars for adults and three dollars for those over the age of 55.
Children are not allowed to take part in the noon-hour water walking.