Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Is Energy Needed to Jump in a Pool?




Getting to a pool for self-designed aqua therapy sometimes seems like a daunting task.

You have to be sure you've got clean towels available.

Sunscreen is a good idea if you're likely to be in the sun long.

Then there's keeping straight the car keys, cellphone, pool pass, glasses, etc., and worrying about securing the wallet.

There are showers to be taken before and after.

In my case, there is a senior dog to be walked first, lest you have the dreaded "sad retriever face" turned on you.

Sufficient pocket change for buying snacks and/or sodas is good to have on hand. If you are diabetic, bringing along glucose tablets to cover potential blood-sugar crashes is never a bad idea.

In short, it is easy to be lazy and not make the trip to the community pool, even when it is only three blocks away.

Today, the heat and humidity were rapidly rising after a welcome respite over Memorial Day weekend, and so Superdawg and I mutually decided to cut a 40-minute walk about in half.

Back home, I thought, why not continue the morning workout routine at the pool, as I'd been thinking about doing for weeks?

So I did. And I'm glad. And I am thinking there is no good reason I couldn't do this three, four, or even more early mornings per week.

The kids are still in school a few more weeks, so today there were only a few young moms with babies down at there shallow end of a very large pool. I essentially had the swimming pool to myself. Even when school's out, it is doubtful many teen-agers will be splashing in the pool at 9 a.m. -- evening is more their thing.

Granted, there is no one resembling a life guard around, so I suppose the young moms are my stand-in protectors even though they don't know it. Yeah, sure, they're going to come and drag me out of the pool and administer mouth-to-mouth. Dream on, old man. At best they might call the rescue squad. Best plan: Don't pass out in 4 feet of water; keep moving.

All the old aqua therapy stretching exercises that my Northern Virginia PT, Michele, taught me 11 years ago came back to me. I did those, I water-jogged in place, I water-jogged forward and backwards, and I even did some swimming. Forty minutes in all, and the stenotic back felt terrific, as did the replaced knee. The mended heart ticked contentedly.

Why wouldn't someone who had this opportunity take advantage of it just about every day?

No sense beating myself up for not starting until the day after Memorial Day. We have had a lot of rain and the pool water has been cold enough to be conductive to cramping during exercise. But now the warm-up has begin, and outdoor pools sometimes stay open as late as Halloween in South Carolina.

Maybe I will get so hooked on aquacise by then that I will join an indoor pool for the winter. The ocean is just 7 minutes away and it is a grand place to walk but I don't trust my swimming skills enough to be a solo ocean swimmer.

Anyway, life is good and some exercise in the water makes it better. Even if you have to expend some energy to get to your splash-down.

                                                        © Robert G. Holland  2015

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