Swimming provides you with a buoyancy and weightlessness that is welcome to most pregnant women. Especially when past the halfway mark of 20 weeks, you begin to feel the lethargy of those extra pounds and awkwardness of a growing belly. It is also a great way to relax and stretch out those ligaments and tendons that have been working overtime during pregnancy.
Best Exercise for Warm Weather
One of the best benefits of swimming during the hot summer months is that it really does cool you down. Overheating is a big risk for pregnant women especially when exercising outside as the temperature begins to sour in the summertime. Women who are pregnant already have a naturally higher internal basal temperature which is one of the early indicators of pregnancy. The cool water of a swimming pool helps to prevent overheating while exercising. However, it is important to remain hydrated even when you are in the pool as your body is working out and expending. It is also important to listen to your body and ease into exercise and take frequent breaks. Your pregnant body will tire quicker and your heart rate should not exceed 140 beats per minute.
Low-impact and Easy to Do:
Water exercises are very easy to do. You don’t have to sign up for a fancy class or need years of yoga training to be ready to do some simple water aerobics. Best of all water exercise is low-impact, so it is very hard to injure yourself as the water breaks the impact of a slip or fall. Even just walking back and forth across the length of the pool is a good water resistance exercise. If you are more ambitious, grab a kick board and kick a few laps or do a frog kick breaststroke. If you are up for a little more, swim a few laps. Just a half hour of swimming or water exercise a day will help tone up your muscles for supporting your baby, can reduced pregnancy-related swelling, lower blood pressure and give more lubrication to your joints and ligaments.
Family Friendly Exercise:
Best of all swimming is a fun exercise the whole family can enjoy. If you have other small children, swimming is a great way to engage with them when you are pregnant and more limited in your physical activity or exercise endeavors. Everybody loves the water and swimming is great way for you to cuddle, hold and actively play with young children who may normally be too heavy for you to lift and carry and while pregnant. It’s also a great time to improve swimming skills and water safety for early swimmers with you in the pool with them rather than watching from the bench. Just helping a little one to swim is water aerobics exercise in itself!
Low Start-up Costs:
In terms of equipment for water exercise, all you really only need is access to a pool and a comfortable maternity swimsuit. Prego Maternity has some excellent simple one piece maternity swimsuits such as the Empire Tank for $69 which gives excellent bust support and a great suit for real swimmers. For a lower cost check out Prego Maternity’s Texture Heart Swimsuit for $48 which is a great all around one piece suit for swimming or water aerobics.
Be sure to get your doctor’s permission before embarking on a prenatal exercise program. There are some high-risk conditions that do rule our exercise during pregnancy. But, for most expecting women it is one of the best exercises you can do for your body and mind.