01 02 03 I'm My Favorite: Revisiting Deep Water Fitness 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Revisiting Deep Water Fitness

My beloved Zumba has been canceled this week. As I mentioned in my post-holiday pep talk earlier this week, I am determined to workout as much as possible this week to help make up for the extra eating I did over the holiday.

Once I heard class had been canceled, I took a look at what other classes were going on Tuesday and Thursday night and I recognized an old friend: Deep Water Fitness. If you read my Exercise - Getting Started post last month (I'm a post-linking fool today) you'll remember that I tried deep water fitness three times before discovering Zumba. That was back when Zumba was only offered three days a week so I filled my other two workout days with deep water fitness' cousin - shallow water fitness.

I was a regular at shallow water fitness for nearly six months before the YMCA added on additional Zumba classes and then I broke up with water fitness. Zumba was water fitness' hot friend and I dumped water fitness without a second thought. I'm not proud of my actions, but Zumba and I belong together.

So, on Tuesday night it was a strange experience turning left towards the pool instead of right up the stairs to the Zumba room. I picked my old changing room, put on my old swim shoes and smoothed out my new bathing suit (needed a smaller size).

I leaned against the cold, cement block wall waiting for class to start. There were two senior women waiting as well ...

Let me stop here and address the stereotype of water fitness being for seniors. Yes, it's true, the majority of water fitness participants, in my experience, have been seniors and it makes total sense. There's less impact, it's great for arthritis and for those with hip or knee problems. But it's not just for seniors.

Water fitness is my recommendation for anyone who was like me - very out-of-shape, hadn't exercised in years and was intimidated by the gym. I will always have a special place in my heart for water fitness. I felt very welcomed by the other classmates and it was not intimidating. There are always people my age and younger in the water fitness classes at the Y ...

The thing about water fitness is that you really do get out of it what you put in. For me I was sacrificing an hour away from my family and there was no way I was going to leave those classes without feeling like I got a good workout.

All the instructors were good, but I had my favorites. The one I liked the most was and instructor that stood on the deck the whole time barking out instructions. She had us doing sprints back and forth across the pool. When I thought I was pushing myself hard, I would push harder. When we would do timed circuits, I dug in and went as fast as I could. I came with a water bottle and drank the whole thing. I left the class red-faced.

So last night was the first time I had gone to deep water fitness since September. I really, really liked it. I've been working on my arms this summer. I wear hand weights to Zumba and I'm starting to see a difference. OMGosh, my arms got a workout. We use water dumbbells. I knew the yellow and blue ones were supposed to be harder than the yellow ones so I grabbed those for the first time last night.

Eyeline Aquatic Dumbbells
photo by Rebel Sports

We spent a good 20 minutes with the dumbbells and my arms hurt more than they ever have at Zumba. We also spent about 20 minutes on the wall working our legs. Lots of kicking and running and lifting. We did push ups on the wall and I could see my reflection in the window and I was proud of what I was seeing.

But the thing I love most about water fitness is I get to spend time with myself. In Zumba it's so fast-paced there's not time to think. In water fitness there's time to reflect. I can think about my day and work out any frustrations in the water. I can have that internal debate of if I'm working hard enough. And there's just something special about working out in the water.

Throughout the class I kept asking myself why I haven't been to water fitness in over five months and there wasn't a good answer. I think it will be good for me to go to the occasional water fitness class.

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