Aquatic Fitness Can Provide Relief for Pregnant Women
Pregnancy can really wreak havoc on the female body. Most women, no matter their previous fitness levels, feel some form of frustration from their physical limitations, especially in the later weeks of pregnancy. Whenever feet start swelling, backs start hurting, or breathing becomes difficult, exercise gets more difficult to maintain. Aquatic fitness can offer a viable option for fitness and can offer some much needed relief too!
There are many properties of water that make it ideal for pregnant women looking to maintain fitness levels and ward off unwanted weight gain. Most importantly, the buoyancy of the water can reduce a person’s body weight up to 90%! That means all of the added weight from the baby is temporarily removed from one’s joints and back. This makes it much easier to move in order to perform exercises. Not to mention, the chance to feel “lighter” again is always exciting and will aid pregnancy pain relief.
Oftentimes, pregnant women feel a little off balance and lack confidence when moving quickly or exercising. In the water, one is able to move more freely and with confidence since the fear of falling or injuring oneself is greatly lessened. Buoyancy, a natural property of water, makes it much easier and safer to recover from a slight imbalance while walking or running.
The hydrostatic pressure of water can also assist with swelling. Many times, pregnancy causes swelling in ankles and feet. Hydrostatic pressure causes an increase in circulation which helps to drive fluid upward and decrease the swelling in lower extremities. Again, this makes movement easier and more comfortable!
One pregnant woman was so excited to be able to run again, after trying hard to keep up her fitness levels toward the end of her term:
“My ankles and hands are so swollen, it really makes it hard to stay active because all I want to do is put my feet up…. I noticed that after I got out of the water my ankles were pretty decent. I felt really good. And it feels good in my hips and other areas where I’m carrying so much extra weight, it just takes the pressure off. It feels really great.”