You’re pregnant. Your doctor tells you it is good to exercise but gives you a list of things you shouldn’t do. Everywhere you turn, someone is warning you with horror stories about over doing it. It can be frustrating to muddle through the world of pregnancy while feeling helpless about your capabilities. Aquatic exercise provides solutions. And rest assured, it’s safe. Here are six reasons why swimming may be a solution for your pregnancy, whether you are a long-time athlete or a beginner.
- Lifting Heavy Weights- Don’t lift anything above 10 pounds, you hear. Or perhaps, don’t lift anything at all. But your muscles shouldn’t have to wither because of lack of normal lifting. If you can keep your muscles toned by working them, childbirth will go better and after giving birth it will be easier for your body to re-adjust. But how does that happen when you are instructed not to lift any weight? The water makes it easier. Doing sets of aerobic activity under the water gives resistance to make your muscles work and you don’t have to be “lifting” weights.
- Raising Body Temperature- You do want to increase your heart rate to work your body, but you face the risk of your body temperature overheating. You may have been cautioned about this because in doing so blood is diverted from the uterus to your skin to help cool off but leaving the baby without blood flow. Although you want to avoid the hot tub, swimming in a regular pool is not harmful. In fact, it’s better! The cool water helps regulate your body temperature even while you increase your heart rate to your target levels.
- No Falling or Jolting Movements – Jump, kick, bounce around … but carefully. You’ve been craving those care-free body movements since … before you can remember. Go ahead, get it out of your system. You don’t have to worry about falling or an ankle giving out because of your loosened joints and ligaments. Instead, your movements are slowed and cushioned by the water.
- Therapeutic- If you haven’t tried it before, the water is calming. Particularly if you are swimming laps, the swirl of the water around you is all that you hear and its flow is all that you see. Hydrostatic pressure is the weight of the water against your body. It too is another factor in the calming feeling that you get. It also lessens pain- all of the pain you have been feeling in your back or your pelvis area or knees.
- Buoyancy- Feel weightless! Although you may need to get a maternity swimsuit to fit your growing belly, the water’s buoyancy will help relieve the extra heavy weight you have been carrying around. Feel a little lighter.
- Be Toned and Ready for Childbirth- Water is fun and relaxing, but also a great workout. You can increase your heart rate, tone your muscles by doing a set of activities in the water, or have an aerobic activity by swimming laps. The hydrostatic pressure, as mentioned before, also strengthens your respiratory system by pushing your organs to work against the slight pressure of the water. Your body will be fit and ready for labor.
You’ve heard that exercise is great for your pregnancy. While you should still be cautious and aware of your limitations, swimming provides an excellent choice to meet your needs. You will sleep better, have more energy, feel less nausea, enjoy better circulation, and triumph the physical stresses that come with pregnancy. For more information on this subject try Great pregnancy exercise: Swimming at babycenter.com