The dreariness of winter is upon us once again, and with it a wide array of waist-widening holiday foods. That, combined with the weather putting a damper on our favorite outdoor exercises, can quickly undo all that we’ve achieved the rest of the year.
What to do?
It’s this time of year that I really miss living in Southern California, just a few miles from a beach and with a well-maintained apartment complex pool, both useable almost year-round. It was there I found my passion for water sports. Of course, loving your exercise avenue of choice is key to sticking to your fitness plan and meeting goals. Passions are key! It seemed a shame to lose all that momentum, so I’ve sought out local all-weather alternatives.
Remember the YMCA? Yep, it’s still a wonderful, affordable fitness resource, and, more than likely, there’s one close by, wherever you are in the U.S. It’s not all flailing attempts at finally mastering that perfect butterfly, either. Lap swim is great, but maybe it’s not your thing. Don’t abandon the pool yet, though! Indoor water aerobics are an excellent winter workout, and they’re not just for the grey-haired set. Rock those retro swim caps and sign-up for a few classes. It’s an easy way to make workout friends who share similar goals. Bonus: ain’t no room for body-shaming with these groups! I’ve found water aerobics groups to be very body-positive and affirming, on the whole. Worried about your appearance in a swimsuit? It’s not Venice Beach and the last six-pack most of us caught sight of involved booze. It’s cool. We’re all here anyway and we’re all doing our best. I’ve fallen in love with swimsuits designed for sport use, as they tend to offer more coverage and support. Boy shorts and racer-back tankini tops are awesome!
If that’s not fresh or hip enough for you, have you tried aqua yoga? As with all watersports, it’s a lower-impact way to increase flexibility and stay toned. There are tons of routines to be found online and possibly classes in your area. Aqua yoga also doubles as a great warm-up or cool down for the rest of your water workout, whatever that may be.
Want to really take a dive on the wild side? Why not try underwater hockey? If you’ve got snorkeling gear and an adventurous spirit, look for a team in your area. It’s the perfect snorkeling/diving alternative for the colder months, and again, you’re bound to make new friends who’ll keep you motivated and engaged.
Those are some ideas to get you started. As always, talk to your doctor before starting any new fitness plan. Stay safe and healthy out there! That said, what’s your winter workout passion? Any other mermaids out there with more ideas to share? Comment below.