Thursday, August 7, 2008

Aquabellies! or, who knew it was so hard to exercise in the water?

Anyone who knows me knows I'm not much of a workout freak. Exercise comes to me in fits and starts and rarely becomes habit. But that doesn't mean I won't give it a shot once in a while.

My workplace offers a free yoga class twice a week, but I rarely have the time during the day to attend. So, when one of the regular waitresses at our watering hole, The Foggy Dew, visited with her brand new daughter and found out I was pregnant, she suggested I try looking up Baby and Me Fitness, which offers pre and post natal exercise classes. She had taken Aquabellies and loved it, and since swimming is one of the few physical activities I really love -- cycling being the other -- I investigated and quickly joined up.

So Thursday after work I headed to the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre (JCC) at Bloor and Spadina for my first class. We chatted about our plans for maternity leave for about a half hour, then to change for class. After wrestling with the cheapo combination lock I bought from Shoppers Drug Mart I managed to stow my stuff and slip into the JCC's lovely, warm saltwater pool. Cool, I thought as I jumped around to some sort of mix that turned "Hot In Herre" into "Hollaback Girl", with about 20 other women at various stages of pregnancy.

But what seemed like a fun romp soon turned into a real workout, as various flotation devices served as additional resistance. Somehow, kicking and holding a flutterboard in front of you seemed so much easier when I was seven years old.

My favourites, though, were the water weights. Not real weights; they were shaped like little dumbbells, and outside of the water they were light as air (being made of styrofoam and all). But get them under the surface, with a hyper instructor telling you to push down, and suddenly it feels like you're bench pressing 50 pounds. In the end, I think my arms and shoulders got more of a workout than my legs and tummy.

Oh well, one down, nine more to go...

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