Fitness After 60 The Water’s Fine!-MainPhoto

Fitness After 60 The Water’s Fine!-MainPhoto

I’m pretty sure all swimsuit designers are men. For cute young women, the suits are colorful and becoming. For the over 60 crowd, well, let’s just say they cover things up. Men have fantasies about young women in bikinis. Not so much their mothers in Speedos. Nevertheless, I found a not-entirely-unflattering swimsuit that covered the essentials, and I headed for the pool.

Exercising in the water is great on aging or injured bodies, as the impact on joints is cushioned by the water. You move slower with the water’s resistance, so you’re less likely to hurt yourself by overdoing it. Drowning is an option, yes, but spraining an ankle is rare.

Read Related: Fitness After 60: Walkers Take Your Mark, Get Set, Go!

I signed up for a water aerobics “easy” level to get my feet wet, pardon the pun. I expected the class to be folks my own age and many of them were. A few younger women were there, getting back in shape from having children; one man was using the class to recover from recent back surgery. We had bulges and surgery scars among us and not a few swim caps and nose clips. But once in the water, and without our glasses on, no one could see the bulges anyway.

Standing in water just above waist level, we began warm up exercises, twisting and bending. Elbow to knee, knee lift to chin. I lost my balance and went under, but I wasn’t the only one. The class picked up speed, and before long the pool deck was wet from all the waves we were making.

It was a fun first class. We hopped on one foot than the other. We lifted beach balls over our heads and out to the side. I found myself humming along to the hits of the 60s coming out of the instructor’s iPod—hey, at least she knew her demographic. I forgot to bring water and during the break, I hurried to find a drinking fountain. I was soaking wet and dying of thirst at the same time!

Forty five minutes passed quickly and in the end, my legs felt like I’d had a workout, but they don’t hurt. The instructor suggested we all rehydrate and take a hot shower. After the class, I snuck in a few words with her and I found out she also teaches water Zumba. It’s a quicker class than the easy pace of this one but one given to a lot of yelling and hand clapping. The water, she said, splashes everywhere. And the good news is, in the water, nothing really jiggles.