You say you’re overweight and don’t dare be seen in public in a bathing suit? Yet, that gym membership you signed up for in the dead of winter just isn’t being used lately? And, it’s just too dang hot to walk outside?
Don’t let your pride stop you from a workout in the pool. If you are overweight, exercising in water is even more beneficial than one done on-air, such as a stationary bike or treadmill. Because you’re pushing against water, rather than air, you’re increasing the stress on muscle mass, burning more calories. This process promotes muscle growth, not to mention cardiovascular training. In fact, water exercise is the best choice for those who are carrying around excess weight. For that, all you need is your membership and Jets One Piece Swimwear that you can wear as you go out and exercise. That is going to get the very best comfort as you go for your water aerobics class.
That’s what I discovered last week when I bit the bullet and stuffed myself into the old swimming suit that I bought when I was 40 pounds lighter. I was glad I did. I was weary from joining my in-shape 160-pound trim husband on daily walks up to our mountain, walking our dog in the summer heat. Yet, I still wanted to burn more calories. That’s what losing weight is all about—burning more calories than you take into your body.
What’s more, water exercise is more pleasurable if you’re overweight. To an overweight person, walking puts added pressure on joints. What’s more, it’s highly recommended for people who struggle with health concerns such as arthritis and diabetes. I had a friend, once, who suffered from diabetes. As a result of exercising almost every day in the pool one summer, she amazed her doctor by drastically lowering her blood sugar to a normal number. It was she who introduced me to water aerobics about ten years ago when I lived in Florida. At that time, I was the only one in the water aerobics class who wasn’t a senior citizen, so I felt a bit awkward at first. Then, when I discovered how much fun it was, I loved being there, as well as getting to know folks a little older than myself.
Now that I am a senior citizen, I’m now the old lady at the community pool where 99% of the swimmers are kids enjoying their summer vacation. But, again, I don’t care. I’m having fun.
When I learned that I was burning more calories in the water as opposed to doing the same routine on land, I was even more excited. Why not burn 130 calories swimming for 15 minutes rather than 125 calories for the same amount of time on a stationary bike? Better yet, why not gradually increase your time to half an hour, then an hour? Just yesterday, I amazed myself by exercising in our community pool for an entire hour, without stopping to lie in the sun. At the gym where I’ve had a membership since winter, I never walk the treadmill for more than half an hour. I’m ready to “do my time” and get out of there. Yet, I didn’t even want to leave after an hour, yesterday. I forgot to bring my suntan lotion, so I left before I turned into a lobster.
And, even if you can’t swim, you can still get a great workout in the water. You can water walk, do the bicycle kick, the scissors kick, the frog kick, or any kick you can imagine, as you hang onto the side of the pool. Just make sure you can touch your feet to the floor of the pool, as well as keep your head out of water.
It’s also a good idea to invest in an inexpensive Styrofoam “noodle” that you can pick up at most sporting and department stores. Noodles come in bright primary colors and are used as a prop to hold onto as you kick your legs in the water. A few of my favorite water exercises, done holding onto a noodle, are the scissors kick and the dog paddle. However, my favorite stroke is just lying on my back, doing the backstroke, back and forth, across the pool. When I tire of that, I simply walk in the water or do exercises holding onto the side of the pool. I also love to dance in the pool. Why not do the twist, even the cha-cha-cha, as you burn calories and have fun?
So go ahead. Take the plunge and start your summer aerobics program before fall is here and your community pool is closed. And if you find you’re really addicted to water aerobics, perhaps you can find a heated pool (such as at a local college or “Y”) to continue your exercise program when the weather is too cold to swim.