If you are looking for a great (and safe!) way to keep fit and toned during pregnancy, then look no further than a trip to your local swimming pool! But before you take the plunge it is important to note that if you have not been a regular visitor to a pool prior to your pregnancy you will need to check with your midwife or doctor first, and remember to start slow and gradually increase your time spent in the pool. And stay hydrated.
Regular sessions in the swimming pool are good for mum during pregnancy as swimming provides an excellent cardiovascular workout, but is low impact and therefore the risk of injury is very small indeed. While you are in the pool your body is fully supported by the water which allows you to feel weightless despite your bump adding pounds to your total body weight. Swimming will also improve your circulation making your skin appear brighter, and makes you stronger and more able to copy with the endurance test that is pregnancy and birth. You may also see an improvement to any pregnancy-related swelling or water-retention. Plus it’s great for stress relief which in turn will help you to sleep more easily! Breaststroke is the best way to swim, particularly in your third trimester as it strengthens the chest and back muscles which are often strained during pregnancy, but avoid this stroke if you are having pain at the front of your pelvis and pop in to see your doctor for advice. Another good stroke is backstoke which allows you to exercise on your back. Something which you will be unable to do comfortably and safely out of the pool in your third trimester.
Make sure you wear the right swimwear during pregnancy – to get the most from your swimming you need to feel comfortable!
And when you are finished in the pool remember to wash the chlorine and other pool chemicals off your skin and out of your hair as soon and as well as possible.