Very few things beat that weightless feeling of floating in the water. Swimming also serves as a great way to increase blood circulation and oxygen in the body, benefitting both you and baby. So what are some great swimming techniques to practice throughout your pregnancy?
First Trimester Benefits
Did you know starting your morning with a swim could help eliminate nausea? When you’re pregnant, baby presses down on the sciatic nerve. The additional pressure leads to nausea. While swimming, the pressure is alleviated, as the baby is able to, “float,” along with you instead of being forced down by earth’s gravitations pull.
Water Walking is a great way to gain strength and stretch a bit in a shallow pool. You can also utilize this safe environment to do lunges without fear of falling.
Easy Strokes During Pregnancy
The water is one of the few places pregnant women can relax and lay on their back without cutting off blood circulation. The backstroke allows you to keep your spine straight, ensuring your neck and head are straight, while flutter kicking with your legs and extending your arms back, through the water, and by your side one by one before repeating. This will improve arm and leg strength while relieving tension from knees and ankles. Flutter kicks with a board can also be a fun way to build leg strength while not over exerting yourself.
Dive a Little Deeper
Don’t be afraid to mix it up with some deep-water exercises, too. You can practice high knee exercises, jumping jacks, and even run while in the deep end to increase your heart rate. Another fun cardio exercise is the, “skier,” allowing yourself to move your arms and legs in a side to side ski motion. Need to focus on your legs? Hang onto the side of the pool and practice kicks. You can also lift your legs waist high until you are in a sitting position, then slowly press them back down straight, feet flexed for a low resistance routine.
Swimming is a fun way to exercise. It allows expecting mothers to enjoy positions that are difficult or strenuous in a safe environment. It’s also a stress-free zone where you can exercise without fear of falling, putting too much stress on your knees and ankles, and are at minimal risk of over stretching. Remember, you know your body best. If you feel dizzy or light headed, you should stop. Also, remember not to hold your breath for too long as it decreases oxygen to the body and to baby. As always, partner with your doctor to understand what works best for you and your baby.
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