There is no doubt about it, keeping fit during pregnancy helps reduce your risk of pregnancy related conditions and certainly helps prepare you for the delivery of your baby. Swimming is a fantastic option for women who are looking for a gentle form of exercise.
It is always advised to check with your health care provider before embarking on any new form of exercise. Should swimming be new to you, we advise getting the all clear from your doctor first.
1. Choose a local community pool that is situated close to home. You are more likely to go often than if the pool is a half an hour drive away.
2. Purchase a comfortable supportive, non-restrictive swimsuit suitable for swimming in.
3. Use goggles, flippers or floating devices if necessary to help support your body when exercising. Not everyone is confident in the water or able to swim lengths.
4. Join a pregnancy aqua aerobics class and get motivated. Organised classes are run by trained professionals and are designed to suit your changing body.
5. Listen to your body. Should you feel any unusual pains or feel light headed stop exercise immediately and consult a medical professional.
6. Avoid hot direct sun. Choose an indoor pool with a moderated temperature to help avoid overheating.
7. Drink plenty of water when exercising. Even swimmers need to drink to keep hydrated.
8. Eat a small energy filled snack before exercising to help increase your energy levels. Eat a small snack again after to replace any energy burned.
9. Vary your exercise routine. Keep it interesting by attending different classes and participating in different swimming challenges. This way you are likely to stick with it, as no one feels motivated when they are bored.
10. Create achievable goals and reward yourself when you achieve them. This can help to make exercising fun.
Why swimming is perfect for pregnant women
Pregnancy is not only physically demanding on your body but it can also bring about emotional challenges too. Swimming is a great form of exercise that balances cardiovascular fitness, endurance and muscle strength and as such is a great stress release activity.
Throughout pregnancy and generally in life it’s important to have a disciplined workout routine. Exercise also helps our body release endorphins which can help to reduce our perception of pain and trigger a positive feeling — which reduces stress and keeps us happy.
2. Gentle on the body
With a little one on the way, the weight of the womb makes pregnant bodies heavier and puts strain on the joints. Due to natural buoyancy in water, the water acts as a support and your body feels light and weightless.
Swimming is low impact and is gentle on your joints. It is particularly beneficial for women who struggle with conditions such as swollen ankles and back pain as swimming does not put any pressure on these conditions and helps to strengthen the muscles surrounding the joints.
3. Tone the body
Swimming is a fantastic all over body workout and engages the larger muscle groups like your arms and legs and increases muscle tones. Women tend to put on extra weight during their pregnancy, this is nature’s way of preparing their body for breastfeeding. Exercise can help to keep weight gains in check.
4. Cardiovascular exercise
Maintaining an increased heart rate for a short period of time helps maintain a healthy and happy heart. You will find simple everyday activities like walking become easier as you consistently swim. This type of exercise also helps our bodies to sleep better. Cardiovascular exercise also helps increase lung capacity which allows us to take in more oxygen and helps breathing.
5. Reduce High Blood pressure
A combination of healthy eating and exercise during pregnancy will help to reduce your risk of high blood pressure.
Features of a good maternity swimsuit
At Cake Maternity we definitely know what it takes to make a great pregnancy swimsuit! While you’re browsing for a good outfit to wear during your exercise, consider the following aspects:
- Foam cups for added support due to an increase in bust size during pregnancy
- Wide supportive straps that will not slip off your shoulders
- Racer back or cross over straps for added support and comfort
- Built in shelf to help support and keep your bust in position
- Chlorine resistant fabric
- Ruched side panels that allow room for a growing belly
- Modest cut that will keep your body contained and comfortable
- A one-piece suit as it helps to support a growing belly