It wasn’t that long ago that women were encouraged to rest as much as possible during pregnancy. Today, that couldn’t be more different. Now, women are encouraged to exercise 20 or 30 minutes on most days of the week because it is so important to the health of both the woman and the baby. From boosting energy levels to strengthening muscles, making delivery easier, and reducing pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia, exercise during pregnancy is essential.
When it comes to swimming, however, not only is it one of the safest, low-impact exercises for women, but it offers a full-body workout, delivering all of the major benefits of exercise as mentioned above (and more), from improved circulation, weight management and stress relief. In addition to this, swimming also offers extra benefits that other forms of exercise don’t, which makes swimming one of the best exercises for pregnant women.
- Pain relief
- Improved mood (and reduced nausea by extension)
- Reduces the risk of joint injuries
- Reduces swelling
- Creates a feeling of weightlessness
An underrated form of pain relief during pregnancy is swimming, the benefits of which have been documented clinically. Not only does swimming relieve lower back pain, but it also provides relief from round ligament pain. You only need to spend 30 minutes in the pool a few times a week to see pain relief benefits.
Swimming has also been clinically proven to improve mood. Women who swim also report that they experience less morning sickness, although the exact reason for this is unknown. Some believe that it could be the result of the general benefits that exercise affords, but there could be other explanations as well.
During pregnancy, a woman’s joints become much more flexible due to the release of the hormone relaxin. As a result, they are at a higher risk of experiencing joint injuries. Swimming, however, is such a low impact sport that the risk of joint injury is extremely low.
Relaxin also makes it so that a pregnant woman experiences a greater curving of the spine, which swimming also minimizes.
Swimming reduces swelling in both the arms and legs.
Being in water creates a feeling of weightlessness, a feeling that women in their later stages of pregnancy, in particular, very much enjoy.