After graduating from high school, Eagleville native Michael Burrows joined the Army Medical Service Corps. After graduating from MTSU with an undergraduate degree in business, he did a tour of duty in Iraq as the executive officer of a surgical team. When he got back, Burrows returned to MTSU for a master’s in business and did some active duty with the Army in Nashville. Then he went looking for opportunity.
Burrows approached the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, asking if they were aware of any business opportunities available for veterans. One of the members on the Small Business Development team suggested that Burrows connect with a doctor who had developed the concept for an aquatic rehab and therapeutic exercise facility. The venture was aimed particularly at helping veterans, so between his business degrees, medical experience, and time in the Army, Burrows was a perfect fit.
“I saw the mission and the vision of it, and I said, ‘I want to be a part of this,’” Burrows says.
Now, a year later, H30 Aquatics (located at 236 Robert Rose Drive) has been open for nearly six months. It’s the first of a national franchise Burrows and his backer hope will open locations near every VA Hospital and research university in the country. The overall concept behind H30 Aquatics is simple: exercising in warm water is beneficial for a variety of people for whom exercise on land is difficult or painful.
“The water allows people to move and recover more quickly and efficiently—because of the low impact of the water, it doesn’t hurt them, and because of the resistance of the water, they build muscles faster and even burn calories faster,” explains Burrows.
H30 Aquatic’s two pools are kept at 94 degrees—about 10 degrees hotter than a normal swimming pool. But those ten degrees make all the difference in reducing pain associated with exercise.
“We do everything from teaching someone to walk again after a spinal cord injury, stroke or surgery to helping people do weight loss and preventing falls for seniors,” says Burrows. In addition to the two pools, H30 offers private changing rooms for its patients and a HydroMassage bed for those who want to enjoy the benefit of a warm water massage without undressing or getting wet.
Physical therapy at H30 begins with an evaluation from one of the facility’s three licensed physical therapists. Next, they craft an individualized exercise program based on the needs of each patient. Physical therapy costs $100 an hour, but, Burrows says, though H30 does not currently accept insurance, every one of his patients so far has received full reimbursement for their out-of-pocket costs from their own insurance companies.
However, physical therapy is only one of the many services offered by H30. In the health and fitness realm, the facility offers personal training, yoga, tai chi, Pilates, Zumba, kickboxing, and boot camp classes—all of which take place in the heated pools. Burrows is also working with MTSU to provide research opportunities for grad students interested in underwater therapy. Says Burrows, “We also do swim lessons, we do getting-over-fear-of-water classes, and we do birthday parties, girls’ nights out, team-building exercises, church groups—any reason to have a group of people come together and have an amazingly fun time.” For parties, H30 offers water volleyball, music, and light shows in the water. “We really want to get a warm-water volleyball league going,” he adds. “That’s going to be the funnest thing in Murfreesboro someday.”
Warm-water volleyball is great, Burrows goes on to explain, because it doesn’t require a lot of athletic skill or fitness for it to be fun. It’s also a great way to exercise—without even knowing it, since the warmth of the water reduces muscle pain and strain.
Since H30 is classified as a medical facility, money spent there can be tax deductible. The cost for independent exercise and HydroMassage is just $.50 per minute. Since H30 is not a gym, there are no contracts or commitments—and Burrows says he will refund any prepaid minutes for those who move away or need to cancel. Like physical therapy, personal training at H30 costs $100 per hour, but the cost can be split between up to five people who want to take a class together.
Weight loss and prenatal exercise are some of the most popular services at H30—but with warm-water volleyball at only $.25 per minute, Burrows is hoping the activity will soon take off. To promote this, he’s offering a free pool party to any and all comers—from friends, to church groups, to high school teams. “I want everyone to have a pool party at H30 Aquatics to see how much fun it is,” says Burrows.
To schedule a pool party, contact Burrows at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit h3oaquatics.com for more information.