Swimming And Aqua Aerobics In Pregnancy  

by Pool Builders on 07-17-2013 in Articles

Swimming gets your heart rate up, tones your arms and legs yet it's easy on the joints. The water supports your bump and you can enjoy a fantastic full body workout - it's generally considered one of the safest pregnancy exercises.

Like any aerobic exercise it will improve circulation, build endurance and increase muscle tone and strength as well as burning calories and releasing endorphins to make you feel good. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists advises at least 30 minutes of exercise in pregnancy on most if not all days of the week saying that, amongst other benefits physical activity can reduce back aches and constipation, improve mood, energy and sleep and help women endure and recover better from labour.

Make sure you stretch out before you get in the water and do a few gentle laps to warm up before you get going and to cool down at the end of your swim. But if you want to keep that gentle pace throughout your swim - that's fine, it's a great way to keep fit.

If you were a regular swimmer before your pregnancy you should be able to continue as long as you feel comfortable - if you didn't swim previously it's worth checking with your doctor or midwife before taking the plunge.

Few things to think about:

To really get the most out of swimming try and set a regular routine - and vary your swim sessions to keep them interesting. Change your stroke and sometimes opt for a long gentle swim rather than a hard, fast burst of exercise.

Use the ladder rather than a spectacular dive off the spring board!

If possible avoid heavily chlorinated water - or over-heated pools

Those fancy flip turns that Olympic swimmers do at the end of each lap are probably best avoided when you're pregnant!

Using a snorkel when you do breast stroke will avoid any pressure on your neck or arching of your lower back when you bob up for air.

Just because you're surrounded by water, don't forget to drink! It's a good idea to have a glass of water before you swim and make sure you have more when you get out.

Generally exercises that involve lying on your back whilst pregnant are not recommended but the supportive effect of the water allows you to do backstroke without risking the impaired blood flow that such exercise might cause on dry land.

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