I discovered a health club three minutes from my house that has a pool (it only took me six years to discover), and when I looked at the website, I saw pictures of all shapes and sizes. Wow!
Picture from my club, Toadal Fitness
I recognize a lot of people in that class!
I decided to go by and check it out. When I took the tour, I was very surprised to see the number of older people and indeed, people of all shapes and sizes. When I filled out a little form asking me what I found appealing about this gym, one of the options was "No spandex."
Well, this looked like it was right up my alley and I signed up on the spot. It took me a bit to get up my courage, but I finally took the plunge :p and started going to deep water aerobics.
I love it! It's so much fun. You're in the deep end, with a flotation device of some kind -- a belt, a noodle (you can see the end of a red one behind one lady), I have something called a water horse -- and you do an hour's worth of aerobics exercises. You walk, run, jog, cross-country ski, at different paces, sometimes sprinting, when you really get the aerobic benefits.
The teacher is wonderful -- she plays music and calls out the movements in rhythm through the whole hour. I've made friends with some of my fellow swimmers and feel part of the crowd now. But the benefits go way beyond that -- the swelling in my ankles is completely gone, I have abs for the first time in many years, I have cool little biceps and even deltoids! I'm more stable and feel a lot stronger.
We have plenty of laughs, too. Once, while trying to pump up the level of enthusiasm, the teacher said, "Put some attitude in it!" and Fay, age 94, said "I'll do my pimp walk!"
If you think you would enjoy it, check it out. It's the only exercise I've found that I truly love.