One of my neighbors who just became pregnant knocked on my door the other day. She knows I’m a big fan of aqua aerobics, and wanted to know what I thought about water workout routines while she is carrying. I would have just said she’d be fine to do aqua aerobics while pregnant, but I wanted to be objective, so I went and did some research on her question.
A great option for exercise during pregnancy. According to Womenfitness.com, aqua aerobics is a workout routine that can help Mom stay fit through the entire course of pregnancy. There are a lot of advantages, such as taking weight off your legs and back, so you feel better doing the workout. Unlike trying to work out with weights, aqua aerobics doesn’t use much equipment. You can usually get by with a foam noodle, which you can get here, and get in a great workout.
Low-impact is a big plus. The water provides buoyancy, so the body only has to support 50 percent of its weight. That buoyancy is experienced when doing something like lunges, a great leg exercise. On the land, when the person steps out to initiate the lunge, the impact can be somewhat jarring. In the water, the foot landing is much more gentle and soft. When the back starts to announce itself during the pregnancy, and muscles and joints begin to ache some, the lightness of being in the water is a great experience, which still lets you get in a good workout.
Help with delivery. This is great news to hear for expectant Moms. The journal of Reproductive Health published an article stating that water aerobics done by women who were low risk or sedentary reduced the amount of pain killing medication requested by women during pregnancy.
When you’re in the water. Even in the water, you will sweat, so make sure you keep a water bottle handy. Take frequent sips while you work out, so you stay well hydrated. Make sure to wear a bathing suit with a supportive top, and an abdominal support as the pregnancy progresses. Move as slowly as necessary so you don’t exhaust yourself. It takes a while to fully appreciate the work you get from the resistance of the water. If you’re outdoors, don’t forget the sunscreen.
What is a good workout routine? Most water classes are done in water that is waist deep to chest high, so you don’t need to be able to swim to participate. There are workouts that focus on cardio or strength work, but most will include a blend of both. They will start with a warmup period, possibly by walking back and forth across the pool. Then elevate the level of intensity for an interval, followed by a low intensity interval for a rest period. Tailor the length of the intervals to your fitness level, and then cool down after the workout.
Prepare for fun. The common thread through most water aerobics classes – they’re a lot of fun. Yes, everyone is there to work out and stay fit, but people smile and laugh a lot when they’re doing it. Possibly it’s the enjoyable effect of being in the water. It’s like when kids jump in the pool, and immediately start laughing as they play – the same effect happens with adults. You’ll have a lot of fun when you’re doing aqua aerobics – which makes you want to keep doing it.
Aqua aerobics is a safe and enjoyable workout option for a woman throughout the term of a pregnancy. So give it a try – let the cushioning effect of the water give sore muscles and back a break – and just enjoy yourself!