“At what age should you stop exercising?” Yesterday my sister-in-law Shirley and I attended a water aerobics class at a swimming pool in the community where we are staying in Scottsdale Arizona. I was the only new student and so when Lynn, the dynamic retired physical education teacher from Illinois who leads the classes, belted out the question, “At what age should you stop exercising?” the veterans in the class all shouted back at her, “When you’re dead.”
Lynn started the class by having each participant say where they were from. I counted some ten states and two Canadian provinces. I was tempted to ask all those American women whether they were Republicans or Democrats but I decided the pool was as good a place as any to forget for just a moment my anxiety and dismay about American politics. Lynn gave us lots of health advice as she put us through the paces in the pool.
“Regular exercise is the key if you don’t want Mr Arthur to invade your body,” she warned us. Who was Mr Arthur I wondered? “Mr Arthur Itis” Lynn explained with her big laugh. ” Arthritis! Get it?” We received tips on preventing kidney stones and blood clots. Lynn forced us all to have a drink of water halfway through the class. She made us look at our fingers. If they were becoming wrinkled in the pool that meant we were dehydrated.
“Sitting is the new smoking,” Lynn warned us repeatedly as we swung our hips, rotated our ankles, walked our feet, did jumping jacks, moved like cross country skiers and twisted our waists. She encouraged us to claw the water with our fingers. It would give us the best muscle burn. I was tired by the end of the hour.
I’ll be back again for Lynn’s next class when women of all ages from diverse spots in North America come together to do water aerobics because………… you shouldn’t stop exercising till you’re dead!