CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte residents dealing with the pain of arthritis are getting a good workout and having a good time with water aerobics.

Dozens of people attended a class at the Harris Family YMCA Wednesday afternoon. Instructor Diane Baist believes the benefits are obvious.

The biggest thing is that it keeps them moving. A lot of people get into a position where they re in pain, maybe they have an injury and they just can t move. So when they get to come to the water they get to do a lot of things they can t do on land.

For Jean Lennon, a chance to move freely in the water is making a difference.

It s really, really helping my legs and my arthritis, it really is. Anybody with a condition needs to come to water aerobics, She said.

The hour-long class focuses on the helping people with the everyday activities that can become difficult with painful joints. The weightlessness of water allows for stretching and pulling of muscles that otherwise would be too painful for regular aerobics.

For Lennon, the friendships are as good as the results.

The best part for me is just coming here, exercising for my health and aiming for the gold and I ll be able to walk without my cane... that s my goal, Lennon said.

Every YMCA with a pool offers water classes. It s important to talk with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.

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