5 Reasons to go Swimming While You’re Pregnant
If you are or have ever been pregnant, you’ll no doubt be aware of the many arguments for and against exercise during this time.
Past medical advice has discouraged women from engaging in exercise that increases the heart rate above 140bpm, whereas other medical and fitness professionals have found no valid scientific research to support this.
This is where swimming as a form of exercise provides a refreshing solution for pregnant women who are on the fence regarding what is safe and what is not. As it is such a low-impact sport, swimming allows you to exercise safely while pregnant and helps partially support your bodyweight, relieving pressure on your joints and spine.
Here are 5 great reasons to take to the water when you’re pregnant:
1. Swimming doesn’t require any drastic adaptations
Due to its reputation as a low-impact sport, swimming requires little or no adaptations to your lifestyle or exercise habits as your belly grows. You can maintain the same level of exercise throughout your pregnancy so long as you are comfortable, and there are no strokes that are considered to be safer than another. Diving is the only activity which is not advised.
2. Chlorine isn’t bad for you
A common misconception is that chlorine in the pool will be harmful to your unborn baby. Dr Steve Lebder, a gynaecology and obstetrics expert, reassures women that “Chlorine is a very good disinfectant. There is nothing wrong for a pregnant woman to swim in a pool treated in chlorine.” There no evidence to suggest that chlorine poses any safety concerns for pregnant women.
3. Swimming can increase your fitness
It sounds crazy that you can increase your fitness levels while you’re pregnant, but you really can. Swimming during pregnancy can increase your aerobic maternal capacity and ticks all the boxes for a full-body workout. Swimming uses all of your muscle groups, strengthens your heart and improves your circulation – all of which are big wins for an expectant mother.
4. The water keeps you cool
One of the many inconvenient side effects of pregnancy is the increased breathing rate and amount of sweating you’ll experience at a lower level of exertion, compared with before you were pregnant. Luckily, the cool water of a swimming pool prevents you from overheating and becoming uncomfortable while you exercise, meaning you can enjoy it more.
5. It can help with morning sickness
Yes you read that right, swimming can actually help relieve morning sickness! Which means, if you suffer particularly badly with this common pregnancy affliction then you really should consider going for a dip. Scientists aren’t entirely sure why this is, whether it’s due to a the overall benefits of a higher level of exercise or if it’s due to the sense of relaxation the water provides. Whichever it is, a high number of pregnant women have reported that regular swimming has relieved morning sickness significantly.
So if you’re a mum-to-be and looking for a safe and comfortable way to keep your fitness levels up during your pregnancy, give swimming a try – it’s the perfect way to keep both you and your baby happy and healthy for the next nine months. What's more, it gets you ready for taking your baby and toddler swimming when they arrive!
One important thing to remember: You should always consult your doctor regarding what level of exercise is best for you while you’re pregnant, we’re all different after all.