Swimming is a great way to exercise for so many people. Water’s buoyant force makes it great for those with joint pain. It’s fantastic for anyone who wants to improve their cardiovascular fitness and build muscle at the same time. But what about if you’re pregnant? Some things aren’t safe to do while you’re pregnant. Fortunately, swimming isn’t one of them.
Benefits of Swimming during Pregnancy
You can enjoy some significant benefits from swimming while you’re pregnant. Swimming is great for improving muscle tone and endurance, something that is sure to help when it’s time to give birth. It can also improve your circulation. That will help your body more efficiently transport oxygen and nutrients throughout your body and to your baby. The weightless feeling you get while you’re in the water can help you feel more comfortable too.
Notes on Form
Your swimming form is a major determinant of how safely you can swim. Protect your back by keeping your head and neck aligned with the rest of your spine. Unless you have perfect form, avoid using the frog kick (used when swimming the breaststroke). This kick makes it harder to keep your spine aligned, which could lead to back pain. While a certain level of twisting is normally a part of good swimming form, avoid too much twisting. Too much twisting could strain your ligaments and overwork the deeper abdominal muscles.
Cautions regarding the Water
Body temperature is especially important when you’re pregnant. It’s not safe for the baby for your body temperature to rise too much. Monitoring your body temperature while swimming can be difficult since the water will make you feel cooler. Because of that, pay attention to the temperature of the water you’re swimming in. Don’t swim in water that is warmer than 89.6 degrees Fahrenheit or 32 degrees Celcius.
Being physically active during pregnancy is an essential part of making sure you and your baby are both as healthy as possible. There are plenty of ways you can be active, including swimming. If you plan to take up swimming as a part of a new exercise plan, make sure you talk to your doctor first. You should always check in with them before starting a new physical activity to make sure that you know how to be safe.
Once you have your baby, you can start introducing them to the water early with SwimJim’s SwimBaby programs for infants and toddlers! Click here to learn about our programs today!