Call me crazy, butÂ I recently took up a fabulously fun new exercise regimeâ€”master swimming! It’s kind of like swim team for grown-ups. So when Becca of Free NotionÂ invitedÂ bloggers toÂ share a little about their fitness story, I was all in.Â HerÂ theme,Â Strong is the New Skinny,Â 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 phaseÂ 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 disciplineÂ has waned. Significantly.
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.
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.Â Almost immediatelyÂ I realized some serious strength trainingÂ would improveÂ 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.Â Michael Phelps doesn’t have to worry about his record, but it is fun to see progress, however small.
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 aÂ 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 sewÂ may become a donation.
Yep, this is how I really look when I’m pumping iron! Lots of faces and groaning. 🙂
I’m excitedÂ 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!)
Psssst! DoÂ 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.