Friday, January 7, 2011

A New Routine

By Clara Hurtado Lee

This morning I felt the best that I have felt for weeks. My arthritis symptoms were so minimal that I only really noticed stiffness in my feet. I got dressed easily, fed the boys breakfast, dropped off my Kindergartener at school, took my 3 year old to the day care and headed to Water Aerobics.

There were about 10 people in the pool during our class—nine women and one man. I was definitely the youngest of the group. Being the youngest when you are wearing a bathing suit is definitely a plus.

The ambiance in Water Aerobics is much different than other exercise classes I have attended. There was a lot more conversation going on than exercise. I found myself feeling annoyed at this fact. But, if you are looking for that sort of thing, now you know where to find it. The instructor stood on the dry ground and demonstrated the movements while having a conversation with a woman on the front row (let's call her La Mona). The instructor had a head-set microphone and, obviously, La Mona did not. La Mona would say something, "muffle muffle muffle" and the instructor would answer back, "Oh yes, there's a $2 off coupon in the paper for that." Not only did this one-sided conversation annoy me, but the instructor would stop moving while she talked. I found it hard to follow her in these circumstances. But I persevered despite La Mona and her endless "muffle, muffle, muffle."

I am not a Water Aerobics virgin. I attended Water Aerobics (with a different instructor) after my second child was born. I remembered it being a better work out. I can tell that Jazzercise has helped me be more cardiovascularly fit because I was working as hard as I could for the whole hour and I never felt like my heart rate went up very far. But, now that I am sitting here 10 hours later, I can feel that my muscles were worked in new ways.

On a positive note, my joints felt great during and after the class. Water resistance against my arm and hand movements was helpful to me in loosening things up gently. The low impact on my knees and feet was also a gentle way to get myself going. I didn't feel over-tired the rest of the day either.

Because I feel so fantastic today, I wonder if I made the right decision in taking a break from Jazzercise. But I have to remind myself that RA is an unpredictable disease. I would like to think that I will feel this great tomorrow and the next day. Since I don't know, maybe it is best that I stay in the pool for now (with La Mona).

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