Our #ThisIsActive Q+As are part of an ongoing series to show how plus size women live their active lives. Share your active life with us on social media by using #ThisIsActive on Instagram or send your story to social @ junoactive.com for a chance to be featured.
Jennifer Amoako is a holistic lifestyle ambassador and proud military wife. She has a passion for writing and learning, and enjoys music and traveling. Jennifer shares her love for healthy cooking, clean beauty, and the importance of living a well-balanced, mindful life on Instagram at @ajenniferyourthoughts. She and her husband currently reside in the Washington, D.C. Metro area.
1. When did you start participating in water aerobics?
I’ve been consistently participating in water aerobics or what I refer to as “aqua fitness” since November 2016.
2. What attracted you to exploring water fitness?
I had chronic back pain that got increasingly worse with each passing year until 2015 when I could no longer walk or stand for extended periods of time. It negatively impacted my quality of life. My husband is very fit and energetic and we enjoy getting out and doing things together. As I became more sedentary due to pain, I gained more weight which further aggravated my back. It was a vicious cycle.
My insurance didn’t cover chiropractic care and one particularly bad episode of pain landed me in an urgent care clinic being prescribed strong medication. I was desperate for relief, but didn’t want to become dependent upon medicine. I scoured my insurance provider’s website and saw that physical therapy was covered. It was time for my annual physical so I talked to my primary care doctor about my concerns. She referred me for physical therapy and I was able to select a facility with a heated pool.
My physical therapist is extremely knowledgeable and encouraging. After a thorough exam, he determined that my pain was muscular and I needed to “loosen up” so to speak. I began a fitness routine designed especially for me in the heated pool twice a week. As my pain decreased and my mobility increased, he modified the routine to be more challenging. After a few months I felt much better, so I started taking water aerobics at the county pool too, including Aqua Zumba!
I was in physical therapy for nine months. I have finally been discharged, but now I have a fitness membership so I can continue working out there as often as I’d like. I’ve lost 65 lbs and counting and I can walk around and stand without back pain.
3. What advice do you have for other people who are thinking about getting into water aerobics who may be nervous or reluctant?
Aqua fitness is for everyone! Even if you’re not a strong swimmer, you can get in the pool and just walk around the shallow end. It’s a great low-impact workout that is easy on the joints. Being in the water is very therapeutic. Getting active in the pool helps me be more active outside of the pool.
4. What is your favorite piece from JunoActive and why?
I love wearing my JunoActive QuikWik® Shirred Edge Capris with the cute detail at the bottom and my SoftWik Basic V-Neck Tee. The capris are supportive with a bit of compression, but not restricting. The waistband does not roll down! The tee is so soft and wicks away moisture. It’s a fun, sporty outfit to wear to and from the pool or on a walk.
5. What are your future goals when it comes to fitness? Any new routines to try, or new classes to explore?
Now I’m all loosened up and ready to explore other forms of exercise such as yoga. I’d also like to complete a 5k. My goal has always been to restore balance and achieve optimal wellness. So, I’ve taken a holistic approach to my overall health by focusing on exercise, nutritious, stress-reduction, and rest. What a difference a year makes. I can practice the Sun Salutation in the morning before I head off to the pool for aqua fitness! #ThisIsActive
JunoActive #ThisIsActive interview with Jenna Kirchner-Jacobs -- a wife of 9 years, a busy stay-at-home mom of three young girls, and a great example of a woman who makes her active lifestyle a priority.