Don’t let sore joints stop you from exercising. Water aerobics is a fun activity for most ability levels. (Jennifer Bardsley)

Don’t let sore joints stop you from exercising. Water aerobics is a fun activity for most ability levels. (Jennifer Bardsley)

Water aerobics is heart-pumping good time for every generation

Not only is it a gentle workout on your knees, but it’s also fun to do the rocking horse to ’80s music.

The first time I joined the Baby Boomer crowd for late-morning water aerobics, I had no idea what to expect. I thought it would be a gentle workout on my knees, which had been bothering me. That turned out to be true. Water aerobics brought my heart rate up without hurting my joints. But what I didn’t bargain on, was how much fun the class would be.

To begin with, there was the rad 1980s playlist. When “Take on Me” by A-ha came on, lots of us sang along. “Take on me (take on me). Take me on.” They even hit the high notes in the squeal at the end of the chorus. After A-ha came a solid number from Huey Lewis and the News.

“This teacher always chooses the best songs,” said the woman in front of me. “Not like the other instructor.”

“The other instructor is horrible,” said her friend. “Why don’t they fire her already?”

I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but it was impossible not to. The ladies cracked jokes like Laverne and Shirley.

“Oh gosh,” said the woman in front of me as she stared through the glass window into the lobby. “Do you see who I see?”

“Flip him off,” said her friend. “Give him the finger. I dare you.”

I bounced higher so I could get a better view into the lobby. All I could see were a cluster of grandpa-types holding water bottles. I was so busy being nosy, that I almost missed the cue to shift from knee lifts to rocking horse.

“Hi ho Silver!” called out a man behind me.

“Away!” shouted the class.

After that, every time our twenty-something teacher gave the cue for rocking horse, she looked like a deer caught in the headlights, wondering what would happen next. I’m not sure that she was old enough to understand the Lone Ranger reference.

As soon as I got home from class I texted two friends. “You’ve got to come with me to water aerobics,” I wrote.

At my next class, my friends Erin and Emily came with me. Both of them showed me up big time.

Erin rocked a bikini. “I jumped around in front of the mirror before I came to make sure it wouldn’t slip,” she said.

Emily wore specialized water sneakers and ankle weights. “I did this when I was pregnant,” she explained. “It was great exercise.”

“Thanks for coming.” I led the way over to the window where we would have the best view. “I want to have as much fun as the two women in front of us,” I whispered discreetly.

The playlist that day did not disappoint, especially when “I’m Gonna Be” by The Proclaimers came on. “But I would walk 500 miles,” a bunch of us sang. I joined them on the next line: “And I would walk 500 more.”

“I love the oldies,” said the twenty-something instructor.

“Oldies?” I stopped singing. “That’s not an oldie. That’s from my generation.”

The ladies in front of me laughed. “Welcome to the club, Kid.”

Jennifer Bardsley publishes books under her own name and the pseudonym Louise Cypress. Find her online on Instagram @the_ya_gal, on Twitter @jennbardsley or on Facebook as The YA Gal. Email her at

Talk to us

More in Life

The hardy fuchsia “Voltaire” is one the few fuchsias that can take full sun all day. (Nicole Phillips)
Eight perennials to add to the garden for summer-long enjoyment

July is a great time to fill in those blank spots with long-blooming perennials. (Yes, it is OK to plant in the summer.)

PUD program now helps 10% more customers pay their bills

Changes to the PUD’s Income Qualified Assistance Program ensure more people will get the help they need.

Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’ has blue foliage from late spring through early fall. In summer, tall flower spikes bear lavender blooms. (Richie Steffen)
Great Plant Pick: Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’ aka ‘Ginba Giboshi’

This hosta has blue foliage from late spring through early fall. In summer, tall flower spikes bear lavender blooms.

Kate Jaeger played Gretl and Kevin Vortmann was Hansel in Village Theatre’s “Hansel Gretl Heidi Günter,” which was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Tracy Martin / Village Theatre)
COVID-19 curtain drops on a Village Theatre original musical

The lead actor in the canceled show says his disappointment pales next to that of the 10 young actors who were cast in the production.

Museum invites you to add your colors to vintage Northwest art

The Cascadia Art Museum in Edmonds creates a project where people can color woodblock prints. The results will be displayed in the museum’s windows.

Why more men aren’t wearing masks — and how to change that

The four-pronged M.A.S.K. Approach just might convince mask-averse males to do the right thing.

A deservedly affectionate portrait of a civil rights icon

“John Lewis: Good Trouble” traces the life and work of a truly towering figure in American history.

How to confront the disease epedimic in the COVID-19 pandemic

Good health empowers us to cope better and feel better, in mind and body, during turbulent times.

This iron figure representing Horatio Lord Nelson is part of an iron umbrella holder made for the front hall of a Victorian house. Few collectors today would recognize the man as a British naval hero who lived from 1758 to 1805. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)
Figure of British naval hero adorns iron umbrella holder

Few collectors today would recognize Horatio Lord Nelson, who lived from 1758 to 1805.

Most Read