I went swimming for an hour today after a month of pining for the pool. My hubby and I took advantage of the (relatively) clean pool at the Hampton Gardens. Relatively, because last month there was an entire stretch of weeks when kids & older guests kept pouring in to enjoy the pool during the summer heat. To our horror the water didn’t get changed for a long time so that it turned into a prominent yellow.
That said, we decided that as much as swimming has become my favorite exercise, I just couldn’t risk soaking (and possibly accidentally drinking) from the obviously contaminated pool. Incidentally (?) that’s also around the time I exceeded my weight target.
But just last week the water got changed (though of course ideally, it should get changed EVERY WEEK – because ahem, dear admin, that’s why we pay those dues, you know) so we decided to take a dip. And did that feel good.
So there I was, happily treading the water wearing a very stretched-out one-piece, getting my exercise and cooling away at the same time. I always feel a lot better in the water, and in my opinion it’s an exercise option every pregnant girl out there should try.
I’d like to share some benefits and tips for swimming when pregnant that I was able to research, with some additions. But you should also check Baby Center (where I copied most of the below items from), and your OB for more info.
BENEFITS of swimming during pregnancy:
1. It’s a total body workout.
Swimming has great cardiovascular benefits, especially for our arms and legs. Swimming also improves circulation, increases muscle tone and strength, and builds endurance. If you swim, you’ll burn calories, feel less fatigued, sleep better, and cope better with pregnancy’s physical and emotional challenges.
The breast stroke is particularly great in the third trimester, because it works on our chest & back muscles, our two main problem areas during this stage of pregnancy.
2. It’s one of the safest form of exercise.
Swimming is a low-impact sport. The water supports the joints and ligaments as we exercise, preventing injury. And obviously falling on water is usually a lot safer that falling when brisk walking, for example.
Just in case though, I always bring my hubby along so he can watch over me and also shed the extra pounds he’s gained ‘sympathizing’ with me. And of course, be extra careful of the wet floor, ladies.
3. It makes you feel light & cool at the same time.
Swimming supports our weight on the water so we feel lighter, providing a temporary relief from the strain of carrying around our growing bump 24/7. My belly actually feels smaller, less tense and lighter under water.
It also protects against overheating, a benefit that I can’t hype enough in this kind of weather.
TIPS for swimming when pregnant:
1. Check with your OB around first
I wasn’t a regular swimmer before I became pregnant – we didn’t have a pool close by where I used to live. But when I asked my OB about it she still said okay, that it would be great as long as I don’t overexert myself.
However, just to be sure, ask.
Do a gradual warm-up routine before swimming. Hey, even those who aren’t pregnant should do so.
3. Wear comfy swimwear
Determined as I was to have a babymoon before my third trimester, I went shopping two months ago for some mommy swimwear. Maternity swimwear is ideal, but the ones I got works well too – secondhand one-piece floral Speedo suits from our local ukay-ukay – snug & comfortable but supportive enough for my growing belly, and at the same time cheap enough so I won’t feel bad not using them again after a few months time.
4. Swim early in the morning
I feel especially great after a good swim in the morning. It is said that swimming early in the morning helps with the nausea especially during the first trimester. And it also feels much better to swim when the sun is still not too hot.
5. Stay hydrated
Being in water often makes us forget that we still need to drink water. Always bring a water bottle with you, and drink at least every 20 minutes, and then again after.
6. Keep to clean pools
As much as swimming feels good, always keep to clean pools to stay away from contracting allergies and infections. Be judgmental especially of public pools.
7. Bring a companion
It’s fun, it’s safer, and I always get a warm kilig feeling when my very manly 5’11” hubby does preggy-style water calisthenics with me.
8. Don’t over exert yourself
As with all things, swim in moderation.
9. Watch other swimmers
This is not a joke. Especially when you’re in a public pool, you need to be very careful of other swimmers hitting your baby bump. Keep your distance, and wear goggles so you see where you’re going.
10. Watch the wet floor
No dive-bombing either.
Lastly, have fun!
SOURCE: Baby Center
I’m not very good with citing sources, so I will just hereby declare here that most of the credible-sounding tips & things cited above are most likely lifted from the declared source above. Please forgive me.