Laughing and crying, you know it's the same release. Joni Mitchell

Laughing and crying, you know it's the same release. Joni Mitchell

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Water Aerobics Saved My Life!

An aqua aerobics class.Image via WikipediaThere is nothing better for fibromyalgia than a water aerobics class outdoors on a sunny summer day! During the long New England winter, the pool at my health club is covered with a bubble that traps in the heat, humidity and chlorine fumes! All the gray-haired ladies and I wait anxiously from Labor Day at the beginning of September until Memorial Day at the end of May for that @#$!! bubble to come down. It has been a glorious summer for outdoor water aerobics this year and I'm trying to get in every last day that I can. All too soon, that bubble will go up and we'll have to suffer through another claustrophobic winter. Of course, water aerobics under the bubble is better than no water aerobics at all, but there is no comparison to exercising in the pool outside in the warm weather.

Ruins of Tulum, Mexico, 0408Image by kaysha via FlickrWhen I was first diagnosed with FM, I went to see one of the top docs for fibromyalgia, Dr. Don Goldenberg. He told me that in order to feel better I had to exercise. I couldn't even imagine exercising since I could barely walk around the block without collapsing on the couch. Dr. Goldenberg told me to try water aerobics because the buoyancy of the water takes the pressure off sore joints and muscles. It took awhile to find the right facility, I've been doing water aerobics in one form or another ever since. I started out in the Nifty Fifty class (well before I was 50), which took things pretty slow. But I built up my strength and my endurance and now that I'm over 50 I'm in a very vigorous aqua fitness class that is actually quite challenging. At 40 I could barely walk around the block and at 50 I could climb the ruins at Tulum, Mexico. Exercise, specifically water aerobics, played a big part in my recovery.

Water aerobics literally saved my life and gave me back a semblance of normalcy. A few years ago I saw Dr. Goldenberg for the last time, and he told me - whatever you do, don't stop the water aerobics. I took his advice to heart and I've kept going three times a week - bubble or not! It makes a huge difference in my life and I make it a priority, even on the bad days.

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