Getting Stronger at Any Age

Call me crazy, but I recently took up a fabulously fun new exercise regime—master swimming! It’s kind of like swim team for grown-ups. So when Becca of Free Notion invited bloggers to share a little about their fitness story, I was all in. Her theme, Strong is the New Skinny, sums it all up very nicely, doesn’t it?

Something I noticed right away during my swim workouts is I needed more muscle strength in order to swim faster and further. And something you may have noticed is I am not in my twenties any more. At least my physical body is not 20-something; not as sure about my mind. 😉

Back in the day when I was in my twenties and thirties, I was a pretty serious runner. It was during this phase that I learned how critical it is to build muscle mass and strength to power aerobic activity. Four children, several jobs, 2 household moves, semi-retirement, and 1 (soon to be 2!) grandchildren later, exercising in most forms had taken a back seat to life. Oh I kept up for a while, but over the past 5+ years my discipline has waned. Significantly.

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Last fall I decided I was tired of not feeling strong and energetic. I do not have any serious medical issues, and according to my doctor I am at a good BMI for my age. But I was really unhappy about feeling stiff, and frankly, weak. I wanted to reverse that trend! Because I now have a bit of osteoarthritis, I need an exercise routine that is gentle on my joints. I have always loved swimming, so that seemed like the place to start. I started just by swimming laps on my own, which has to be about the most boring exercise routine on the planet. But I kept it up until I could consistently swim at least 1 mile during my workout. Then I figured I could see if the master swimming program was a good fit for my interests and abilities.

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Hahahaha. OMG. You should been there. My first workout with the masters was a riot. More about that in a later post, but suffice it to say I wasn’t exactly a rock star. Almost immediately I realized some serious strength training would improve my swimming faster than anything else.Soooo, about a month back I added strength-training to my routine too, and bam! More power in the pool. Michael Phelps doesn’t have to worry about his record, but it is fun to see progress, however small.

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Any new regime is an opportunity for sewing new clothes, right? I am quite fond of this new workout top, Jalie 2444. I used two different colors of a wicking athletic fabric from Marcy Tilton, and love it as a top. It is sooooo soft and comfortable. I used a super stretchy 3-thread overlock stitch on my serger, with wooly nylon in the looper, and that stitch is very comfy against my skin. I have to confess tho, I am a little less enthusiastic about the pants. The softness that is so comfy and appealing in a top doesn’t work quite as well in pants, so this sew may become a donation.

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Yep, this is how I really look when I’m pumping iron! Lots of faces and groaning. 🙂

I’m excited to see what changes 2016 will bring me in terms of fitness and health. How about you? Any new plans or resolutions for 2016? <Insert standard warning to talk to your doctor before beginning an exercise routine, and do not take any advice from me. I am just sharing a bit of my exercise story>

Happy sewing! (and exercising!)

Maris

Psssst! Do head over to Free Notion and check out the other blog tour stops this week as well. And I’ll tell you more about the swimming thing later in the week.

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19 Responses to Getting Stronger at Any Age

  1. This is excellent! My fitness preference is yoga – but that stiffness you mentioned is exactly how I know I’ve slacked too long. The weakness, too, but that’s most visible I think in my posture 😛 Any tips on how to make swimming less boring? I was on swim team my whole childhood and every time I tried to picked it up again since it’s just a dull experience 😛

    • Becca – you might try and find a Masters workout program in your area. For me – this routine makes swimming challenging for both my body AND my brain. I have never done Crossfit, but I think the premise of Masters is similar. Every workout is different, so way less boring. And it is fun to chat with your “lane mates” too. Way, way more motivating and interesting than swimming laps on your own!

  2. This is inspiring. Thank you for sharing it. I look forward to updates and am off to read the blog you linked to. I like your workout clothes, too. I have made leggings from supplex and from cotton lycra. I do prefer the supplex as it doesn’t get clammy, but it does have a soft texture.

  3. Love your story!! Thank you for sharing and bummer your pants ended up as a donation, but someone will love them. Both your sewn items look awesome!

  4. It’s always good to see people who are no longer consider “younger” still maintaining an active life. I come from a very active family, so I hope to continue the same example to my children. Weight training is my favorite! But I hate working out with other people. but I’m not motivated by myself. Oh the dilemmas!

    You outfit looks great and your faces while working out are great 😉

  5. My mom and I go to an exercise group almost every day and I think it makes her into Supergrandma! I love that she can get down on the ground and play with my kids all day long. Your story is a great reminder that exercise is for anyone at any age–never give up!

  6. Very nice. Good review, you mentioned everything, the good with the bad. I have made this T, in a solid, and embroidered it. A few alterations for my body, as I am an apple, but love the T!

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