Most doctors agree that light to moderate exercise is healthy during most pregnancies. Most women are able to continue moderate exercises throughout the first and second trimesters of pregnancy if they had been doing them before becoming pregnant.
Women who did not exercise regularly before becoming pregnant should use caution when starting an exercise regimen. Some types of exercise can be harder on you and your baby than others.
If you’re pregnant and looking for an exercise which can help you stay in shape during and after your pregnancy, consider water aerobics. Water aerobics involves doing light to moderate aerobic exercise in shallow water. The benefits of water aerobics for pregnant women include:
- Conditioning. You would expect conditioning off any type of exercise, but water based exercise such as water aerobics and swimming can work out muscles which are hard to isolate in other types of workouts. These include many of the muscles involved in childbirth.
- Low impact on joints. When you’re pregnant, especially in the second and third trimesters, you’re likely to experience joint pain. No one wants to work out while their knees or ankles are killing them. When you do water aerobics, much of the weight is relieved from your joints by the buoyancy of the water. You get the benefits of working out without the pain.
- Alleviates depression. According to the CDC, water based exercises like water aerobics helps reduce stress. Studies show that the relief is even more pronounced when exercising in warm water.
- Helps Reduce Edema. If you have the puffy ankles so many of us get when we have a baby on board, water aerobics can help. It does this by helping to redistribute your body’s fluids.
- Heart health. Aerobic exercise strengthens your heart. This can in turn help with blood pressure problems. It can also improve your endurance, preparing you to better endure labor and delivery.
Like any exercise, you should ask your doctor before you take up water aerobics during your pregnancy. In most cases, light water aerobics is safe throughout your pregnancy, but your doctor can give you specific advice based on your health.
What kinds of exercise have you tried during pregnancy? Which worked best for you?