Swimming is great for your fitness and your mind. Just because you’re expecting a baby doesn’t mean you should avoid it. In today's blog discover the benefits of swimming that you might not know about, and our tips to encourage you to get started.
Can you go swimming while pregnant?
Taking a few laps in a pool is a wonderful way for pregnant women to exercise and stay in shape. Swimming during pregnancy doesn’t just help maintain your fitness levels, it will help you cope with the physical demands of labour and motherhood in general.
On average, women gain nearly 2 stone in weight throughout their pregnancy. Adding swimming to your weekly routine now can help to control fluctuating weight as well as prepare your body for giving birth and recovery.
How much swimming do you need to see and feel the benefits?
It’s recommended you go roughly 3 times a week for half an hour. You can safely swim any stroke (unless otherwise advised), so you can vary your exercise or do what you enjoy most.
The weight of carrying your baby can often induce back pain. To improve your back strength, breaststroke is the perfect technique. It’s known for being particularly helpful by working to strengthen your back, chest and shoulders to enhance your posture.
What can you do to be safe?
If you were a frequent swimmer before you became pregnant, then it's perfectly fine to continue your normal routine. If you didn’t exercise much before knowing you were carrying a baby, you should take it easy at first and ease into the exercise slowly.
During every session, you should always warm up, cool down and stretch out. Once you’re ready to get into the water, start with a few warm-up laps to get your muscles moving before giving it your all. This ritual is even more important when pregnant, as you have more to support than normal.
One thing to keep in mind is that you should slide into the water slowly as opposed to jumping in, as you need to allow your body to adjust to the water temperature and avoid cramping.
What are the benefits of swimming?
There’s no doubt that swimming has plenty of physical benefits, yet it’s also a great relaxing mental exercise too. It’s the perfect opportunity to wind down and relax and enjoy some time to yourself.
It doesn’t have to be a long swim to notice the benefits; floating about or walking about in the pool gives you time to relax. The water will support your body and take the pressure off of your joints and the soles of your feet to create a soothing weightless feeling.
What swimwear options are there?
If you are concerned about what you are going to look like in a bathing suit, you should know that there are plenty of choices out there for pregnant women.
If you prefer to cover your 'baby bump' there are some stylish one-piece swimsuits for pregnant women, which provide extra room for your growing belly. Yet, one-piece swimsuits aren’t the only options. Pregnant women are opting for bikinis now more than ever. If you would like to show off your pregnancy and feel comfortable in a bikini, whatever your style, there are plenty of choices you can discover and flaunt your baby bump! For more coverage than a two-piece and more versatility in personalised style, tankinis are both a flattering and supportive option. Their unique design of a longer top is perfect to cover your belly, and with added inside bra support as well as wider straps, you’re guaranteed a comfortable fit.
Tips to remember
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Remember that exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous to be beneficial
- Avoid using saunas or steam rooms
- Don’t exercise to lose weight whilst pregnant
Swimming is generally considered a very safe activity, yet before taking the plunge, do check with your doctor so that you are given the green light. To discover more on what swimming can do for your mind, read our latest blog post here.