In the quest for low-impact, high-energy exercise, I’ve rediscovered my love for swimming. I’ve been going to the community pool several times each week, swimming laps and doing water aerobics. After I’m done, I always feel peaceful and relaxed. Despite the fact that I swim at Medgar Evers Pool in the heart of the Black community, it never fails that I’m the only sistah in the pool. What gives?
Is it a hair thing? Is getting your hair wet holding you back? Swimming is a cheap aerobic exercise that’s easy on the joints, and a powerful stress-reducer. And even if you can’t swim, there are water aerobic classes that you can do in just waist-deep water. Come on in, my sistah. The water is fine! Talk with your hairdresser. There are some water-friendly styles and products for our hair that can make managing wet tresses much easier. And if you’re a do-it-yourself hairstylist, there are clarifying shampoos and conditioners now available for you to choose from.
Maybe you’re self-conscious in a swim suit. Okay, I get it. But no matter what your size, there are figure-flattering swim suits to be had. Investing is a pareo–a sarong-sized body scarf–and a colorful beach towel can do wonders cameflauging any body imperfections.
Or maybe you think swimming is just something black folks don’t do. Hey ladies, yes we do! Try it! Many local community centers and the YWCA have pools that are under-utilized. Use them! Your body, mind, and spirit will be happy that you did!
Question: What keeps you from heading to the pool?