Nouveau retiree – in deep water!
I have been retired from my paid job for three weeks. I thought I’d share some of my adventures with you and also some links to free and low-cost activities.
Palm Beach Aquatic Centre
On Tuesdays (and if I wished, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays), I attend the Palm Beach Aquatic Centre to slide into the olympic-size pool and work flat-out for 45 minutes. No, I am not a swimmer. This is exercise of a different sort. Along with about 30 other women (and two very brave fellas), I cinch a pool-provided ‘flotation belt’ around my waist. This has to be so tight that I can barely breathe. If it’s not tight, it will slide up around my neck – believe me, I have experienced this and it’s not comfortable, nor does it keep the body afloat.
We all step into the 2-metre deep pool, which is heated to 27 degrees C, and wait for coach Rosa to amp-up the music. We ‘warm up’ for a few minutes. Then the HIIT training starts. “what is HIIT?” I hear you ask – well, its high-intensity interval training. In reality, it means you work like crazy/flat-out/incredibly hard until Rosa tells you to cruise (but not for very long) and then off you go again. You have to keep your heart rate elevated – no slacking! The principle behind DWR is to carry out in the water the type and intensity of activity that you might do on land that would get your heart a-racing. But the buoyancy protects your joints.
There are ‘moves’ – cycling, Murray Cods, jogging, star-jumps, push-ups, and on it goes – bespoke terms that help you learn to do the moves and keep the heart pumping. The expectation is that you will be short of breath, filled with endorphins. And by golly, it works!
I have to confess to finding this activity such fun. I giggle uncontrollably as my very buoyant legs keep bobbing up in front of, or behind me – no, this is not one of the moves, it’s just me! I also love making eye connections with other participants as we huff and puff up and down the lane. The music is awesome – motivating, fast-paced and at times frantic.
After the 45 minute work-out, there’s a cool-down and stretch period after which you emerge from the water. This is when you realise how blooming heavy your legs are!!!