Participating in water aerobics during pregnancy is a popular fitness trend amongst pregnant women. However, it is important to remember that all pregnant women should talk to their doctor to ensure this form of exercise is safe for them before they begin. Most doctors recommend that their pregnant patients do get some type of low-impact exercise during their pregnancy, as exercising during pregnancy seems to help in a faster recovery, an easier delivery and losing weight faster after birth is given.
Why Choose Water Aerobics
Water aerobics provides several benefits, such as being more comfortable and putting less strain on the joints. Exercising in water is generally safe for most women, even women in their later stages of pregnancy. Water aerobics can also burn twice as many calories as walking. For example, walking for 30 minutes outside of water burns about 135 calories while walking for 30 minutes in deep water can burn about 264 calories because water provides resistance.
Water also provides buoyancy and makes a person feel far lighter. For example, a 120-pound woman, when in water, feels like she only weight 12 pounds. Feeling lighter makes exercise easier and more comfortable, especially for pregnant women who are carrying extra weight.
It is also said that water aerobics during pregnancy may help to reduce the chance of developing varicose veins, eases morning sickness and reduces foot and ankle swelling.
How to do Water Aerobics
Before starting water aerobics, all participants should consult their doctor and have been told it is safe for them. To actually begin a session, all participants should be in the pool and the water should come up to their armpits. All workouts will begin with a warmup session that lasts about three to five minutes where all participants gently move and stretch. Once everyone is warmed up, they will go through the aerobic workout which generally lasts for about 20 minutes. Once the workout is over, all participants will do a three to five minute cool down period where they will gently move and stretch.
Warnings and Tips
Though this is water aerobics, women can still sweat. Because of this it is important to stay hydrated by drinking adequate water before, during, and after their workout.
All women should begin slowly and gradually increase their time and pace. For example, if a woman can only start with ten minutes at a time this is all she should do and then gradually work her way up to a full 20 minute workout.
All women should dress comfortably and in clothing that will not get in the way. A bathing suit is the best choice. Women should avoid baggy clothing because it can get in their way and they can get caught up in it which can be dangerous.
If any woman starts to feel dizzy or fatigued she should stop immediately and have assistance getting her out of the pool. If these symptoms do not stop within a few minutes after stopping exercise, she should seek medical attention.
Torkelson, C. (2010). Water Aerobics and Water Therapy During Pregnancy. Retrieved on October 14, 2010 from PregnancyToday: https://www.pregnancytoday.com/articles/healthy-safe-pregnancy/water-aerobics-and-water-therapy-during-pregnancy-3189/
Baciuk, E. P., et al. (2008). Water Aerobics in Pregnancy: Cardiovascular Response, Labor and Neonatal Outcomes. Retrieved on October 14, 2010 from Reproductive Health Journal: https://www.reproductive-health-journal.com/content/5/1/10
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