Healthy Adventures: Water Zumba!!!
What overweight person says to themselves, “Oh, I just can’t wait to put on my swimsuit, go to the pool, and let everyone see how I’ve let myself go?” Not a single one. But, still being in physical therapy with my bad knee, the pool seemed like a safe place to start. (Here's a link from the Cleveland Clinic on the benefits of water exercises.) Fortunately, Lifetime had two water classes on the schedule for weekday evenings--water zumba and water circuit. I had a time and place to begin to exercise and an exercise that I didn’t think would do more harm than good. I was on my way!
For me, there were several obstacles to overcome before I could reap the water exercise benefits. Obstacle one: the locker room. I had to actually change into my bathing suit to do things in the pool! Luckily, there were little private changing areas in the locker room, so that saved me, and everyone else, from the horrible experience of me changing out in the open! Obstacle two: walking out of the locker room. I grabbed a towel in the locker room to wrap around my waist for the momentous hike. Did you know that those are small towels? I had to use two to fully cover my fanny and such, but I figured it out. Obstacle three: walking across the pool deck and getting into the water. There was no way to avoid it. I had to walk across the pool deck to where the class was being held. Funny how they don’t bring that pool to you! Obstacle four: joining the class.
This really didn’t prove to be an obstacle. I just slipped quietly into the pool and stood over at the side hoping that my pounds would melt away in anonymity. That’s pretty much what happened until I was ready to interact with everyone.
Water zumba, led by the ever-perky and encouraging Victoria, has been one of the most joyful and absurd experiences of my life. I haven’t danced in a long time! Lack of practice, added to the awkwardness of water, could make a girl nervous, but the whole class is in the same boat, I mean pool. I don’t think anyone in my class is a professional dancer, except Victoria, and no one can see the lower half of your body. Before I knew it, I was dancing to “Maniac” from Flashdance, complete with fluttering my fingertips down my body. (If it sounds odd, you should have seen me!) And I wasn’t alone!!! Because we live in an ethnically, religiously, racially diverse area, I was fluttering my fingertips with people from all over the world!!! I had to giggle! We did hip rolls, shimmied, and even attempted what I think was twerking! Heavens above, I was living large--literally and metaphorically!!!
Thursday nights is water circuit class where we do all sorts of exercises with foam noodles and aqua dumbbells. It’s a great, fun, easy-to-get-into workout that really works!!! Now, on Saturdays and Wednesdays, I participate in water TRX, which is another bump up in intensity--I love it!!!! (more on that later) I’m even swimming laps! Watch out Little Mermaid!!
If you’re trying to decide how to get started working out, water classes are a great place! The water is very forgiving on the joints and provides excellent camouflage--a winning combination! Don’t think you’re wimping out because you’re doing water exercises!! If you start with something and it’s too hard on your body, you’re going to get frustrated and quit! Give yourself a break! Start where you’re at and enjoy the ride.