As most of you know, as we get older our bodies change and we have to alter our eating habits and movements. I’ve never been much of a runner, but I’ve always wished I could be. I’ve got a treadmill so I can walk or run whenever the mood strikes me. If I do run, it’s usually intervals. Walk 2 minutes, run 2 minutes. I do a minimum of 32 minutes (8 sets) and then walk some more or add in a couple of minute sprints. To me, sprints just means faster than my normal running. In the past, this routine has worked well for me. Lately when I run, I have issues with my hip flexor. It hurts during the run and afterwards. I have to do a lot of stretching before, during and after. So now I need to find an activity that is not so hard on my body.
For the last three weeks I’ve gone with my mother to water aerobics and the local community center. I’m the youngest one there. The old ladies get a kick out of the fact that I’m coming with my mother. The shallow water part doesn’t feel like a big workout to me, but the deep water part does get my heart rate going. The bummer is that the times for the classes don’t work with my school schedule. So after water aerobics I’ve been trying out lap swimming. Now there’s a workout!
I did 5 laps the first time I tried it. I mainly was on my back and kicked. I did the elementary backstroke arms. That easily gets my heart rate up and it works way more muscles than running. This last time I did 10 laps. I even bought a pair of goggles. That helped. I swear I hadn’t done the breast stroke in at least 25 years. When I first started trying it my timing was way off and I was afraid that my plan to start lap swimming was going to fizzle before it started. But eventually I got the timing down. I interspersed it with side stroke (catching my breath), backstroke with various arm movements, and lastly I used a kick board to do scissor kick and the froggy kick. My mom thought my form on the backstroke looked quite good. Surprising, since I’ve never done it before. I’ve just watched it on TV… I suppose if you’ve had the assortment of swim lessons you can pick it up pretty easily.
When I finish swimming, I feel good. My body doesn’t hurt. I’m not sweating like a pig. I feel like I’ve gotten a good workout but haven’t hammered my body. The next day I can feel that I’ve had a good workout. It takes more effort to swim. But I’m already envisioning swimming on my way home from school. The community center can easily be on my way home. Now that I’ve decided to do this, I have a week where I can’t make it there to swim. (My summer school class starts tomorrow). But it’s nice to have a plan. I think swimming will be a good way for me to deal with stress too.