I have found, after more than a year of being on my weight management program, that, amazingly enough, there really is a direct connection between exercise and keeping my weight off. Who would have thunk it? I have fought this connection for years because I basically hate exercise. I get bored by walking or running or stepping on an exercise machine. I hate getting up early in the morning to go to a class. So, I have never been any good at finding exercise I can do on a regular basis–until now. I love deep water aerobics! And I highly recommend it for women over 50!
Deep water aerobics is basically water aerobics in the deep end of the pool, with or without a flotation device around your waist. (I usually wear one because I’m phobic about drowning, but most people in my class don’t.) There is something about deep water aerobics that makes it fun and soothing—at the same time that it works your muscles. Maybe it’s because when you get tired, you can always lie back in the water and rest for a minute. Or maybe it’s because you feel so weightless at the same time that you are trying to burn off weight. Or maybe it’s because it’s one of the few kinds of exercise that doesn’t end up hurting my back when I get carried away with it. My friend, Nancy, says it’s the only kind of exercise she can do that doesn’t end up hurting her knee—and she has had knee surgery! And it’s not just for old codgers. Our class is a mix of people of all ages.
In any case, I now know that if I can just get to water aerobics class two to three times a week and walk at least 45 minutes on another three days, I end up getting in my exercise for the week, I work most of my muscles (especially if I also throw in one day of doing weights in the gym), and, miracle of miracle, I don’t gain weight—even in the cold winter months!
Here’s a brief summary of the kinds of exercise you do in deep water aerobics—for those of you who are scared of it: jogging through the water, jumping jacks in place, frog jumps, cross-country skiing, etc. They even have weights, so that you can do exercises that build your arm strength by pushing down the weights in the water and pulling them up! And, best of all, it’s fun!!!
If you live in my town, Asheville, NC, they offer several different water aerobics classes at our local YWCA—both shallow and deep water. Let me know what you think!