You have exercised for the last several years, and you’ve been really diligent with it. Now it’s time to start a family. You’ve heard that there are wonderful exercise programs that you can use during a pregnancy, but you wonder what will work for you. Consider the advantages of the water – not for swimming, but for aqua aerobics.
A gym in the water. When you become pregnant, your body will be undergoing plenty of changes. Why not find a workout routine that you can do the whole time you are carrying? Aqua aerobics is safe throughout a pregnancy, and it’s not just one option – think of aqua aerobics as a gym in the water. You can perform a whole variety of water exercises that will provide a low impact alternative to a gym workout. Consider being able to get in a cardio workout, with the gentle coolness of the water supporting your body and easing aching muscles. Here are some great resources with more information about water workouts during pregnancy:
- Is Water Aerobics Safe During Pregnancy?
- Workout Programs for Pregnant Women
- Water Aerobics and Water Fitness Exercises
The buoyancy of water. One of the biggest advantages of water workouts – the body only has to support a fraction of its own weight, due to the effect of buoyancy. You feel a lightness in the water, which will give your joints a break, especially your knees and ankles. Consider being able to even get in some weight work, but standing in the coolness of that water, with your body feeling very light. Those bicep curls you do with water weights will really improve your strength – which will later come in handy when you’re carrying the baby around the house.
So you can’t swim? That’s not a problem, because most aqua aerobics routines take place in water that is no more than chest deep. You will stand with your feet firmly on the bottom during almost every exercise, and if there’s one that takes place in the deep end – just skip that one.
Check with the doctor. Especially if you’re just starting out with exercise, be sure to have your doctor clear you for workouts, and make sure you follow his guidance.
Get in your cardio workout. One of the most enjoyable exercise sessions with a great cardio benefit is an aqua walk. Just head to the indoor community pool when the lap lanes are open, and begin walking up and down a lane, just like you would at the park. The soothing coolness of the water will actually become a relaxing component as you mellow into a walking rhythm. Time will pass quickly, you’ll feel great afterward, and be completely refreshed. Put a water bottle at the end of the lane, because though it won’t feel like it because you’re in the water, you’ll be sweating some. Imagine how great that walk will feel in the summer when it’s too hot to do anything outdoors.
Practice moderation. Sure, you may have been a competitive runner in college, but you have a different priority now – you’re exercising for two. Don’t overdo your workouts. In the first trimester, a workout can include at least 30 minutes of cardio around 5 days a week. By the second trimester, taper back the cardio to 2 to 3 days a week, and use lighter weights. By the third trimester you’ll be cutting back on the exercise, so always be aware as your body changes, and be moderate in your exercise expectations.
Smile as you walk in the water, knowing you are doing something that will keep both you and your baby in top health.
Kaitlin Gardner started AnApplePerDay.com to further her passion for a family friendly, green living lifestyle. She is married to her college sweetheart and lives in Pennsylvania. She and her husband enjoy going for long hikes, to get out and enjoy nature. She is working on her first book about ways to live an eco-friendly, healthy, natural life.