By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer
Last week I was fortunate enough to be able to take an entire day off work to visit Deep River Water Park in Indiana. Four of us traveled to this outdoor water park and we spent a good 5 hours climbing up the stairs to different water slides and then swooshing down on inner tubes into the cool refreshing water.
Tuesday the park was fairly crowded so the cardiovascular benefit of climbing up and down the stairs to the Storm Tube Ride over and over was reduced since we had to stand in line quite a bit. However, the act of climbing the stairs is a great way to work out some of the stress from sitting at a computer. And riding down an inner tube with friends (also known as having fun and laughing) is also great stress relief!
When the park is not as crowded (and it wasn’t when I visited last year towards the end of the season and shared my favorite water slide ride, the Double Dueling Cannon Bowl, with a handful of teens) you can get great cardio and stress relief by climbing the stairs, sliding down the ride and then climbing the stairs over and over until you are waterlogged!
One of the other nice benefits of visiting this particular water park is that they allow you to bring in your own coolers and lockers. So you can bring in healthy food and beverages. They do provide snack shops, but the food is not that healthy (nachos, dipping dot ice cream and hot dogs).
Deep River Water Park has a large wave pool which gives you a chance to swim against a man-made”current” and float among your fellow waterparkers. They boost two lazy rivers in which you can float along on one of their comfy inner tubes.
Avoid Injuries and Concussions
The only down side to our water park adventure was my last trip down the Double Dueling Cannon Bowl ride. I love this ride because you get to ride down two slides and spin around in a big twirling bowl AND you have to climb about 4 flights of stairs to reach the top. However, the slide can be dangerous, as I can now attest. On our last run down the slide, we ended up flipping our tube and I fell on my head before I slide down the last portion of the slide. I don’t recommend this as a way to build cardio fitness or manage your stress! After my fall, I took it easy and didn’t go on any more rides as I could have had (and likely did have) a minor concussion.
Based on my experience, I say, stay on the tube! And don’t try to force your way out of the bowl, let the ride spin you round naturally. Call for help if you do get stuck on a ride and the lifeguards can shut it down to assist you.
Water Park Safety Tips
• Wear sunscreen. Even if it’s waterproof, apply after every 2 hours in the outdoors. Water park water is heavily chlorinated!
• Don’t swim or slide if you feel nauseated or dizzy.
• Do not drink the water in the pools or water attractions.
• When riding on inner tubes, make sure you keep your hands and feet inside the tube.
• When sliding down a ride with inner tubes, make sure you stay on the tube!
• Obey lifeguards and posted signs.
• If you do injure yourself on a ride and have an open cut or sore, seek medical attention and do not get into a pool or continue to ride.
• Drink plenty of clean water as the sun and activity can dehydrate you.
The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions has more safety tips here.
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