While you never want to undertake any form of exercise routine without first checking with your doctor, swimming is an excellent way for pregnant women to stay fit and healthy while not subjecting their bodies to the stresses of gravity when working out. When it comes to overall health, medical professionals have found that being submerged can decrease your overall blood pressure – the reason for this is because the water increases circulation and offers relief from swelling.
Many pregnant women choose swimming for exercise because it offers great cardiovascular benefits and works most of your muscle groups without putting undue strain on your joints. Additionally, the buoyancy pregnant women feel when they’re in the swimming pool relieves some of the aches and pains they feel from carrying around the additional weight. Swimming is also a great way for women to cool off while still staying fit and healthy. Even for those women who have never been too physically active prior to pregnancy, swimming is a sport that is accessible to women of all fitness levels.
Imagine this… when you’re in the pool, your 150 pounds feel like 15 pounds, and this is a relief to many pregnant women. Even if you hadn’t swum before becoming pregnant you can easily jump into a fitness routine either by taking a water aerobics class, swimming laps on your own or even by jogging in the water. Water running is an exercise favored by women who are accustomed to jogging but who have found it too stressful on their bones and joints now that the baby weight is pressing. Simply swimming 20 to 30 minutes four or five times a week will help keep you in shape.
Weight-related issues are a part of being pregnant, especially as it relates to your joints and bones.
You will feel aches and pains in your knees, hips and back as the pregnancy progresses. Because you feel lighter in the water you may feel more relaxed about exercising there because you won’t have to worry about the jarring of motion on your joints. The gentle motion of the water as you glide through it can also work to ease aches and pains as well as allowing your mind to wander, swimming offers stress relief as well.
While being in the water brings with it some unique balance issues, in the pool you won’t have to contend with falling and injuring yourself as you would on land.
As we’d mentioned, many swimmers find the idea of swimming laps mentally soothing and relaxing. Another benefit to undertaking a “good” workout is that you will tire yourself out and by extension you will probably get a better night’s rest.
If you don’t have your own swimming pool, look into joining a gym or swimming at a local high school. Keeping your weight in check when you’re pregnant is healthy for both you and the baby and swimming is a great way to do just that.