I was a little nervous of my latest fitness plan. The ladies at my aqua-fit class are mostly older than me but when they encouraged me to join the zumba class on a Wednesday night I couldn’t refuse. Plus the instructor, Karen, is the same one who teaches aqua so I knew Id be able to work at my level. I did worry that I might expire from lack of oxygen or that my rickety right knee wouldn’t manage the moves. My partner went to the gym whilst I was at the class, with instructions to come and find me after an hour if I didn’t appear as I might be lying somewhere on the floor unable to walk!
I know that I just can’t lose weight unless I up my exercise. I think my body has gone into a sleeping metabolism rate after years of not much activity and , let’s be honest, too much food! But its pretty hard to do exercise unless its : a) fun b) rewarding. Now I can see the benefits and long-term goals but sometimes I’m a bit of a ‘I want it NOW’ princess and delayed gratification is just too much to expect. So the Fun bit is pretty important for me. I also know that I like routine in a ‘I do this on a Wednesday’ sort of way. If I can plan it onto my calendar and have reminders on my phone that’s all to the good. So I reckon classes are a good idea for part of my fitness plan.
So off I go in my jogging bottoms and white T and large water bottle. Some of the slim, fit people are wearing cut-off lycra, this makes me hyperventilate slightly until I see a couple of women from aqua and my heart rate returns to normal ( for the last time tonight). Karen has the music pumping, the African/salsa/Marengo mix is enough to get your toes tapping although I’m not sure my hips will do that wiggle to order. And off we go. Somehow I end up at the front of the class. This was NOT the plan. I wanted to be tucked away nicely where I could follow everyone else and not feel like the fat clumsy one. Ouch, so Im kicking that negative self-talk into touch and wiggling my hips and shimmying with the rest of them.
And guess what? I kept up ( mostly). I didn’t die ( I’m still here). And, miracle of miracles, I can walk this morning! I can actually tell that the things I’ve been doing over the last few weeks have made a difference. I got out of breath, but I wasnt gasping like a fish out of water. I didn’t feel like I was going to have a heart attack. And apart from avoiding the jumpy bits my knee held up ok.
One of the great things with zumba is it seems to have taken off everywhere and with all ages and sizes. I gather from friends that classes vary according to speed so it’s probably worth checking out that the one you want to go to is flexible enough to let you go at your own speed without feeling like a stranded turtle. But if you like a good rhythm and dancing and having a laugh as well as a workout I’d say give it a go!