We all know that it’s important to stay active during pregnancy, but frankly, this is a whole lot easier said than done. Between the sore back, and the fatigue, and the swollen feet, getting enough exercise during pregnancy is TOUGH. However, exercises like swimming are perfect for pregnant women, as it helps build both muscular and cardiovascular strength in a very low-impact way.
While there are many exercises that help build muscular and cardiovascular strength, none is as low-impact as swimming, which is crucial during pregnancy to help you stay comfortable.
Pregnancy isn’t a walk in the park – it takes a lot of strength and energy to carry around a growing baby for nine months and beyond – and they don’t call it labor for no reason. Exercises that build strength are therefore highly recommended to pregnant women. Swimming helps build core, lower, and upper body strength, all of which can make the road to Baby a lot easier.
Another of swimming’s main benefits is the cardiovascular strength that you’ll build. Many women report feeling fatigued during pregnancy, and while it can be difficult to exercise when you’re exhausted, swimming can help increase your stamina to make you less tired in general. Whether you join a pregnancy-specific swim class, or simply do laps in your local pool, swimming is an excellent way to increase your stamina, and prepare for the long haul.
Although there are lots of exercises that help build both muscular and cardiovascular strength, what really sets swimming apart from the others is its low-impact nature. Swimming is unlikely to cause any extra physical discomfort, as opposed to running and other activities that can be tough on the knees and elsewhere. Because of this, swimming is one of the best exercises for preventing and managing symptoms like swelling and joint pain, as it probably won’t agitate anything like running might.
Although swimming is generally safe for pregnant women, those whose amniotic sacs have broken, or those who have been recommended advised to avoid exercise by their healthcare providers should hold off. It’s also good to remember that while swimming is safe, its more daring cousins, scuba diving, water skiing, and cannonballs should definitely stay off-limits. It’s also true that most healthcare providers do not recommend picking up a new form of exercise during pregnancy, so you should talk to him or her about the safety of swimming during pregnancy if you are concerned.
- B Sternfeld, CP Quesenberry Jr, B Eskenazi, LA Newman. “Exercise during pregnancy and pregnancy outcome.” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 27(5):634-40. Web. May-95.
- “Swimming During Pregnancy.” NewHealthguide. NewHealthGuide, n.d. Web.
- “Swimming Guidelines for Mums-to-be.” Swimming.org. Swimming.org, n.d. Web.