Just a few decades ago, expectant mothers are advised to take it easy, have a complete rest, and avoid doing unnecessary movements that may burn them out. These days, the story is quite different as specialists are encouraging pregnant women to start a fitness regimen during pregnancy. One of the most obvious reasons to maintain exercise routines is the benefit it brings to your overall health as well as the health of your baby.
Swimming is among several exercises that pregnant women can practice up until their due dates, especially when they do not experience any complications in their pregnancy. Before we reveal the overflowing benefits of swimming exercises for moms-to-be, there are some precautions you need to follow for a safe and fun swimming experience with your baby bumps growing.
- Check for water safety to prevent water-borne diseases. (Stick to properly-chlorinated pools.)
- Do not walk on slippery surfaces to avoid potential pitfalls. (Have someone to assist you while treading on pool decks.)
- Wear proper swimming attire including swim caps and surf rashies for complete sun protection.
- Keep hydrated before, during, and after a workout.
- Avoid diving into the pool. (Slide-in carefully instead.)
- Do not hold your breath as your baby needs oxygen.
- Do any stroke you want.
- Do not exceed a heart rate of 140 BMP.
- Consult a personal trainer for beginners.
The precautions to swimming during pregnancy have no difference from doing other exercises in general when you’re not pregnant, only that expecting women should double their safety as they tend to protect their babies as well. Now that you have equipped yourself with the necessary precautions mentioned above, it’s time to learn the rewarding benefits of swimming exercises during pregnancy.
Good for Mommy and Baby’s Overall Health
Swimming ticks all the boxes of all-around health benefits for both expecting mothers and their babies. By providing a full-body workout, swimming can boost all the major muscle groups (arms and legs) of the body that help develop strength, power, and flexibility. Not only does swimming increase your endurance and capacity to recover but it also brings amazing benefits to your heart. Swimming strengthens the heart and improves blood circulation, increasing the body’s ability to use oxygen. Not to mention its bonus reward of burning extra calories and keeping your weight within a healthy range throughout pregnancy and giving birth.
Easy on Joints and Ligaments
Pregnant women are more susceptible to joint injuries as their bodies may naturally produce a ‘relaxin’ hormone that relaxes the ligaments in order to let the uterus and pelvis expand and enable the arteries to accommodate higher blood volume. This results in the greater curvature of the spine and more flexible joints, making pregnant women more prone to injuries. Water workouts help minimize the risk of sprains and other related injuries. Plus, the buoyancy of the water has the ability to decrease the pressure on the back, allowing pregnant women to feel almost weightless.
Nausea is quite common for most pregnant women. While some of them have their own ways of keeping nausea at bay, others report that swimming provides relief to this morning sickness. There is no specific study on this result. However, there’s something about water workouts that is likely to help several women feel better. Aside from the overall health benefits swimming can offer, it could also be the sense of relaxation that simply being in the water brings to pregnant women.
One of the reasons why swimming is on top of pregnant women’s choice for workout routines is its ability to cool them off while exercising. When a woman is pregnant, her breathing rate increases so they start sweating even at a lower level of movement. Sweating is a body’s adaptation mechanism to protect the baby from overheating inside the womb. The woman’s body can be at risk of dangerous overheating when she does a strenuous workout outdoors, which is why swimming can be the best form of exercise for expectant women, allowing their bodies to balance workout and body’s normal temperature.