Swimming is a great way to keep fit for everyone, but it’s particularly good during pregnancy. Here’s why:
1 Swimming is super exercise because it uses both arms and legs. It’s low impact, so it poses a very low risk of injury, yet it’s an excellent cardiovascular workout.
2 Any type of aerobic exercise helps increase the body’s ability to process and use oxygen, which is good for both you and your growing baby. Swimming improves circulation, increases muscle tone and strength, and builds endurance. If you swim, you’ll burn calories, sleep better, and have more energy to cope with the physical (and emotional) challenges of pregnancy.
3 This is perhaps the one time during your pregnancy you’ll feel weightless, so make the most of it. Be warned, though, lead-weight Lucinda will return with a vengeance as you heave yourself out of the water.
4 Swimming first thing in the morning may counteract nausea and will help boost your energy for the rest of the day.
5 Just because you’re getting bigger… and bigger… and bigger… won’t put a stop to your swimming routine. You can keep going right until D-day, although you may want to splash out on a maternity swimsuit to keep comfy as your tummy expands.
6 Water acts as a cushion on joints and ligaments, preventing injury and also protecting you against overheating, so even when you’re in your third trimester, swimming remains a very safe form of exercise. Yippee!
7 Breast stroke is particularly good for lengthening the chest muscles and shortening the back muscles, two areas that typically become misaligned as your body changes during pregnancy.
8 If you swam regularly before pregnancy, you can continue your routine without much modification. If you didn’t swim at all, you should still be fine but, as with all exercise, check with your doctor first.
9 Don’t over-exert yourself. Start slowly as you gradually warm up and take it easy on the last few lengths as a cooldown.
10 Remember to drink plenty of water, particularly as the weather gets warmer.