I’m excited to have Kaitlin Gardner from An Apple Per Day guest posting for me today! Kaitlin has a wonderful blog, and when she asked if she could write a guest post about water exercises for pregnant women, I jumped right on it. During my pregnancy with Jack, I LOVED aqua aerobics and aqua Zumba, and I did them up until a few days before Jack was born. Kaitlin has some great simple water exercise to share today. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Everyone has their favorite way to stay in shape, and a pool was never one of mine…until I became pregnant. In fact, I have never even claimed to “love the water” and during my (much) younger years, swimming pools were simply a thing I hung out next to with my friends, and would occasionally get into when I got too hot. So it came as a surprise to me when I discovered that a swimming pool would become my best friend during both of my pregnancies.
In fact, for even more useful information on the connection between pools and healthy pregnancies, check out these links:
So what changed when I got pregnant? Several things, actually. I found that I was running warm much of the time, and since I was pregnant through the early spring, summer and fall, I had plenty of warm weather that seemed to exacerbate the heat that seemed to be radiating from my core. My hip joints were aching by the fifth month, to the point that going for a brisk walk, which most women can do until late in a pregnancy, was not sounding all that inviting. And then there was the weight gain: I didn’t love how fast it was happening, and it was probably happening because I was hot, sweaty and achy and just wanted to sit in front of a fan every chance I got.
Then I found the swimming pool at my local gym. Aha! What started as a way to cool off after a gentle stretching class for expectant moms turned in to my primary outlet for not only feeling comfortable, but staying active and keeping my weight gain under control for the duration of my pregnancy. My only regret? Not figuring this out until almost my sixth month.
With luck, you’re reading this much sooner than your sixth month and you can get going right away on some simple pool moves that can keep you comfortable and healthy throughout your pregnancy. Remember, if any of these suggested exercises seems to be a little too much (or not enough) just adjust as needed: do less reps, laps or time on each one. And always be sure to check with a doctor before beginning any exercise routine, pregnant or not. Finally, don’t push yourself the point of exhaustion. The goal is staying fit and healthy.
Swimming Pool Moves for Pregnancy
Perhaps the simplest move of all was my favorite pool move, and it also brought me the best results: it was relaxing, it kept my hip joints active and producing the all-important synovial fluids that keep joints moving freely.
Plus, with the natural resistance that water provides, quads and hamstrings (larger muscles of the upper leg, front and back) get a nice workout that improves muscle tone. And the best part: I burned calories and so will you!
2. Arm circles
Sounds simple, right? Believe it or not, this simple move tones arms quick! I loved putting on some music, closing my eyes, and standing still in the water doing upper arm moves. If you want to add a little challenge to your biceps, shoulders and triceps, invest in inexpensive wrist weights. Standing shoulder-width apart in chest-deep water, stretch arms out to the side and do small to medium size circles. Go counterclockwise for 30 seconds, and the reverse. Repeat five times.
I perfected the art of squatting in the water, but then again, I’m taller than average. In the shallowest end of your pool, place feet shoulder width apart and squat until your thighs are parallel with the ground. If the water gets too close to your face, you have two choices: hold your breath for two seconds with each “squat,” or don’t squat quite so far down.
Have fun in the water! Here is post I wrote about Aqua Aerobics if you want some more ideas!
Kaitlin Gardner started An Apple Per Day to explore her passion for a green living lifestyle, and healthy family living. She and her husband have just moved to rural Pennsylvania, where they enjoy exploring the countryside and discovering interesting and out of the way places. She is also learning how to paint with watercolors.