Regular exercise during your pregnancy is encouraged especially for such benefits as boosting mood and energy levels, supporting better sleep, helping prevent excess weight gain and increasing vitality and muscle strength.
Experts recommend that you exercise for 30 minutes a day, on most days. Most exercises are safe to perform during pregnancy, as long as you exercise with caution and do not overdo it.
The safest and most beneficial activities to perform during your pregnancy are brisk walking, swimming, indoor stationary cycling, prenatal yoga and low-impact aerobics (taught by a certified aerobics instructor).
These activities carry little risk of injury, benefit your entire body, and can be continued up until the birth of your baby.
Other activities such as jogging can be done in moderation, particularly if you are already a regular runner. You might want to choose exercises or activities that do not require great balance or coordination, especially later in your pregnancy.
Swimming is an ideal exercise during pregnancy as it poses little risk of injury, and no risk of falling on your abdomen and injuring your baby.
Indeed, swimming offers expectant mothers a safe means of exercising as the water partially supports their body weight, decreasing the burden on the spine and limbs. And unlike some other forms of aerobic exercise, swimming helps to keep you feel cool.
Furthermore, exercising in water gives you a better range of motion without putting pressure on your joints. Even in your ninth month, you can swim, walk, do aerobics or dance in the water. Water aerobics is great cardio and lots of fun!
Benefits of Swimming during Pregnancy
1. Cardiovascular Benefits:
Any form of aerobic exercise whilst pregnant aids in boosting the body’s ability to absorb and use oxygen which is essential for both you and the baby.
Swimming is an excellent form of exercise since it utilizes both the large muscle groups of both the arms and legs. Though the activity is low-impact in nature, swimming actually delivers great cardiovascular advantages and enables pregnant women to feel less heavy regardless of the surplus weight that they are carrying.
2. Blood Circulation and General Well-being:
Swimming also aids in blood circulation, boosts the muscles strength and tone and helps develop stamina. It aids in fighting the uncomfortable back pain that is often associated with the increasing belly size. The state of being pregnant changes the alignment of the spine and shoulders and causes the pelvis to tilt forward; however, swimming gradually gives the muscles strength to counteract these effects and makes the body less prone to these stresses.
3. Burning Calories and Providing Energy:
If you swim, you will burn off calories and will feel less lethargic. Exercise is well known to improve the quality of sleep and help you manage stress in general and this is particularly true during pregnancy. It will help you to sleep well and to handle the physical and emotional challenges accompanying pregnancy. Swimming also aids in keeping your weight under control and some women claim that it helps to reduce bloating.
- The water in the pool also prevents your body from overheating and gives support to the ligaments and joints whilst you exercise; thus helping in prevention of any injury.
- Swimming helps to boost heart and lung function and hence helps reduce swelling and fluid retention. Swimming also helps the body in coping with the aches and pains associated with pregnancy.
More Tips and Precautions
- Exercise with moderate speed, not too slow or too fast.
- Exercise until you are tired but not exhausted.
- If you feel tired, stop and rest.
- Do not forget to eat healthily.
- If you train for a period of 30 minutes or more, make sure you drink enough fluids with some glucose.
- If you experience any light-headedness, dizziness or feel an irregular heartbeat along with any other change in the body’s functioning that may be causing pain or discomfort, leave the pool immediately and seek help from an expert.
- If you have a history of three or more miscarriages, early labor, a weak cervix, multiple pregnancies, ruptured membranes or any heart or lung disease then you are not advised to swim.