Is Aqua Aerobics Safe During Pregnancy?
When it comes to exercising during pregnancy, getting the green light from your doctor is mandatory. Once that is in place, most women who are experiencing a normal, healthy pregnancy have plenty of options when it comes to staying active and getting an appropriate amount of exercise for both themselves and their developing babies. At the top of an increasingly growing number of women’s list is aqua aerobics. Aqua aerobics is a relaxing, low-impact and healthy way to stay active throughout pregnancy (and beyond)!
Aqua Aerobics and Pregnancy: The Basics
As the name implies, aqua aerobics is simply moving around in the water—typically enough to get your heart pumping and muscles working for at least 20 minutes. There are two main benefits to aqua aerobics that make it an ideal activity during pregnancy: first, it is low impact, which means that larger joints, like the hips, which typically get very sore during pregnancy due to the release of hormones that will eventually allow for expansion during childbirth, do not take a beating. Second, the natural buoyancy properties of water mean that the baby “bump” is supported by the water, which is especially useful as it grows into what seems like a mountain. Take that, gravity! In fact, water’s buoyancy protects weight-bearing joints by supporting up to 90% of the body’s weight when underwater up to the neck, and 50% of the body’s weight while in waist-high water. The end result for pregnant women: ahhhhhh.
Benefits from the Neck Up
Not only is aqua aerobics a safe and healthy way for a woman to stay active throughout her entire pregnancy, it provides a soothing environment for a tired mom-to-be. Whether you are in your own backyard pool, a gym, or community pool, being in the water is highly effective for relieving stress. In addition to the cardiovascular benefits, aqua aerobics has been reported to improve sleep, increase energy, relieve depression through the release of endorphins, and improve overall feelings of well-being.
The Challenge of the Last Trimester
In the last few months of pregnancy, many women being to worry that they are gaining too much weight, especially in the last few weeks before childbirth. But women want to be comfortable. They want to feel good, and many turn to food to ease the physical discomfort and growing anxiety. This presents a conundrum: How does one monitor one’s weight while not depriving a developing baby (or a tired mom-to-be) of necessary nutrients? Aqua aerobics is a perfect solution to this dilemma, especially as women reach the last trimester of pregnancy, and their center of gravity changes, which affects balance and coordination. Exercising not only becomes a challenge, but potentially dangerous. Being in the water is a safe alternative to land-based exercise. Just hanging on to a kickboard and kicking around a pool, even just a few laps a day, can safely burn calories and keep both baby and mom strong and healthy.
About the Author
Kaitlin Gardner currently lives in Pennsylvania and is married to her best friend. In her spare time, she loves to go hiking , hand with her family and friend and enjoy nature.