Fact: pregnancy is counterproductive to willpower. Well, that’s not really true; but for all the things you should quit while pregnant – smoking, drinking, harsh medication and so forth – don’t you at least deserve that extra slice of bread? We think you do, as long as you make up for it.
Enter aqua aerobics, low-impact exercising with all the goodness of slaving on a treadmill and none of the annoyances to you or baby; and it’s easier too. Most doctors recommend a low-impact exercise programme for women during pregnancy, and many mothers feel it eases delivery, speeds up the recovery process and seriously helps with losing any extra weight. Some doctors even claim water aerobics help ease morning sickness and decrease chances of varicose veins in the legs and swelling of the feet. Add that to the general benefits of exercise – increased circulation, flexibility, muscle tone and stamina – and you’ve got yourself a winner.
And this is exactly what the Abu Dhabi Golf Club offers. The ADGC’s aqua-natal classes are held in the shallow end of a club pool, and last for an hour. The classes focus on breathing techniques, moving in the water, and creating a soothing environment for expecting mums.
The real attraction though is that water provides buoyancy, which makes you feel much lighter – something that comes in handy considering the additional weight of the baby. The club’s instructors include a midwife, and anyone can join, as long as they provide written proof from their doctors or care-specialists that exercise is allowed.
The club prefers you book at least 24-hours in advance, but, for the moment, they accept walk-ins too. Classes are suitable for beginners, and you don’t even need to be a swimmer to join up. All you need is a free Sunday, a positive attitude and a baby or two in the oven.
Dhs100 per class, Dhs75 for club members. Every Sunday, 9am-10am and 6pm-7pm. Abu Dhabi Golf Club (02 558 8990)
Did you know?
Buoyancy is the ability of an object to float in a liquid, such as water. First discovered by Greek numbers-buff Archimedes a couple of millennia ago, the principle is that an object is buoyed up by a force equal to the weight of the water it is in. In other words, if a 50kg mum floating flat on her back displaces 25kg, she is then buoyed up by that same weight of support. Different factors contribute to how high you float: your body type has a lot to do with your buoyancy; fat floats, while bones and muscles do not. The relative size of your lungs to the rest of your body is another factor, as is the density of the water: more salt means you’ll float more; the unusually high salt content (around 30-35 per cent) of the Dead Sea, for instance, means anyone can lie down on its surface and read a book, without much effort.