February 1, 2013
I wrote the original version of this post Nov. 22, 2012, on sparkpeople.com. I've added a bit more for publication here:
Sometimes I think I am part otter. I think I could live my entire life In the water. When I was young, i used to look forward every summer to romping every day in the city pool. So when it came time to get back on a regular exercise program, water aerobics seemed the best answer.
I'm not a big fan of sweating. When I work out on land I tend to get red-faced and swell up like a puffer fish -- yuck. I also tend to wheeze and gasp from having to carry my weight around. And my ankles and knees get sore from the impact. In the water I work my muscles to a pleasant feeling of fatigue without getting short-breathed, sweaty or puffy, and no pain - but plenty of gain.
I have been working out at least five times a week since late October. Even in the first few weeks I could really feel the difference and the benefits just continue to grow. I'm no longer short of breath all the time and I have worked out a good share of my aches and pains. When I first started, my workout took all of my energy and I was exhausted every day. But I worked through that and now have more energy. I am losing weight and starting to see more muscle definition.
But probably the best side effect is a reduction in stress. I have a job that can be very high- pressure at times, so being a little more relaxed at work makes a world of difference and makes me feel more equipped to deal with the pressures and problems that come along.
The water is the one place where I always feel graceful and strong. I'm glad to have found it again. It's funny, even though I look forward to spending time there every day, I still feel like every day that I go to work out is a personal triumph and worthy of a special pat on the back. I look forward to the day when it's just what I do, nothing more, nothing less. Because then I will know I have a habit to last a lifetime.
One thing I try never to forget is to drink plenty of water after a water workout. Some of the people who participate bring their water bottles poolside, which is also a really good idea. Even though you are generally not noticeable sweating, you are losing moisture through increased breathing. When I've worked out, I make sure I drink at least a big glassful more than I would otherwise. That means my eight glasses a day, plus one or more.
So in answer to my title's question, if you want to be a water baby, you've got to drink plenty of water, baby.