Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Splish Splash

I may not be officially old enough to qualify as a "senior" but when it comes to exercise I may as well be - arthritis and too much weight prevent me from doing a lot of what I would like to do and even walking is a chore at this point. My feet get very offended and shake their angry little fists at me when I try to get them to hit the road for a walk. Rebellious and uncooperative things they are. But last week I went with two friends to a local pool that offers classes in deep water aerobics 3 days a week. We LOVED it! My swim buddies are no spring chickens either, bless them, and we are all thrilled to have found this program. It seems that water is the great equalizer - I would not last 10 minutes doing calisthenics on dry land but an hour just flies by when we're working it in the pool. And we are getting quite a workout, every morning after I've had a class I feel pains in muscles I didn't even know were in there. We wear flotation belts to do the deep water exercises and use styrofoam dumbells in the shallow end for upper body work. Some of the experienced ladies in the class have some nifty little gloves with webbed fingers. They told us that they increase the resistance so their arms get a better workout. Got to get me some of those babies.

There's lots of literature on the benefits of water aerobics, especially for older folks and others who can't take having their joints pounded. Here's one good article I found. The Arthritis Foundation also promotes water exercise as one of the best forms of exercise for those with arthritis because it is so much easier on damaged and hurting joints. Check with your local chapter or a local YMCA. Most of them have classes or information on how to find one in your area. I know from past experience how much better I feel if I am getting regular exercise and I'm already feeling more energetic after just 3 classes. I am so happy that my swim buddies are just as excited about this program as I am. It's great motivation to have others expecting you to show up. They say that it's never too late and you're never too out of shape to do some kind of physical activity, you just have to find one that fits. As for me - I'll be in the pool if anyone wants to know.

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