Swimming provides a welcome relief to those aches and pains you often experience during pregnancy.
It relieves the pressure of your bump by supporting it and takes the strain off your back.
It’s also great for improving your circulation which is sometimes affected during pregnancy, because of all of the hormones running around your system.
What the pressure of the water does to your veins and arteries actually stimulates blood flow and reduces any swelling you may be experiencing, say in the feet or ankles.
Swimming gives your muscles a great workout.
Water offers 12 times the resistance of air!
Your deep abdominal muscles also get a workout, because they help stabilise the pelvis in water and so this is an excellent way to maintain your abdominal muscular strength.
Swimming can be particularly relaxing and the rhythmic action of the stroke, gives you the feeling of weightlessness.
For baby, the soft muffled sounds created by the water induce a feeling of calm and tranquility for him/her too.
If you are experiencing any pelvic pain during pregnancy, I’d suggest that you avoid breast stroke leg action.
Several of my clients have given themselves pelvic girdle pain due to the excessive leg kicking action, which is not great for your unstable pelvis.
What I suggest is doggy paddle legs, with breast stroke arms, as this way, your legs stay narrow, whilst your arms are still getting a great workout.
Buy a pair of goggles so you can swim with your head down, because this puts less pressure on your back.
Swimming with your head out of the water causes the pelvis to drop and accentuates the increased curve in the lumbar spine.
If you’re on maternity leave, check out your local pool, to see if they offer an aqua-natal or aqua-aerobics class.
Phone them first to see if the aerobics class is suitable for pregnancy, and ask about the depth of water.
Whilst waist-high water provides support for your pelvis and lower back, your breasts are still vulnerable so you may need to wear a bra if your swimsuit doesn’t provide sufficient support.
Chest-high water is preferable but you can reduce the risks in shallower water by adopting a wide leg base and bending the knees with the feet facing forwards.
Not only does this keep the breasts immersed but it also provides greater stability and a more effective workout for the arms.
Check out Claire’s pregnancy fitness classes which are held in West Bridgford, Nottingham.
They’re at the perfect time of day and they’re a great way of meeting other mums-to-be too!