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Traditional advice is that pregnant women or those trying to get pregnant should do low-impact exercise at least 30 minutes per day. But fertility treatments can lead you on a hormone-induced roller coaster, and pregnancy-related conditions like weight gain can make you uncomfortable. Even if you’re not a swimmer, getting in the pool will help strengthen muscles and get your heart pumping. The cool water helps minimize hormone-related conditions like swelling, and the buoyancy of the water forgives any extra weight.
You don’t have to swim laps to benefit from pool exercise
Swimming is easier on your body than weight-bearing exercise because the water supports about 80% of your body weight. But not everyone is confident in the water or able to swim laps. Instead, you can choose to walk lengths of the pool or join a prenatal aquatic class to enjoy the benefits of the water. Use flotation devices like a kick board or noodles to support your body if necessary, and protect your eyes from pool chemicals and bacteria with watertight goggles. Any water-based exercise is a fantastic option for any woman looking for a gentle way to stay fit.
Helps to relieve pregnancy-related conditions
Because swimming is low-impact, it’s gentle on joints that might be swollen or carrying the burden of extra weight. Women undergoing fertility treatments might be battling the common side effects of headache, nausea, bloating, hot flashes, and mood swings, according to an egg donation agency. Summer can be especially uncomfortable for any heat-related symptoms.
Swimming in cool water can soothe the feeling of being overheated, but also eases symptoms of nausea from fertility treatments or morning sickness. The buoyancy of the water benefits women with back pain as it relieves joint pressure and helps to strengthen the supporting muscles.
Help keep your mental health in the best possible shape
Attempting to get pregnant can be incredibly stressful. The wild ups and downs of hormones and unexpected results can take a toll on your mental health. Swimming increases your overall fitness level and is a great stress release activity. Physical activities like swimming can help you sleep better, which is often a struggle during fertility treatments and pregnancy. Exercise also helps release endorphins, which triggers positive feelings, reducing stress and boosting happiness. So, if your hormones have you feeling on edge, take advantage of the calming power of water to right yourself.
Helps maintain a healthy and happy heart
Swimming really gets your heart pumping and as such, it benefits cardiovascular health. Maintaining an increased heart rate while exercising for a short time helps maintain heart health. Cardiovascular exercise helps increase lung capacity, which allows you to breathe easier and use oxygen more efficiently. You’ll find that the benefits of exercise extend to simple everyday activities like walking that become easier as your endurance and muscle strength improve.
Swimming engages all of the large muscle groups like your arms and legs and increases muscle tone. Being fit can help ease some symptoms of pregnancy, like joint pain and back pain from rapidly gaining weight. Staying physically fit during pregnancy also helps reduce your risk of gestational conditions and helps keep you in tip top shape for the rigors of labor and delivery. Always check with your health care team before embarking on any new form of exercise.