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Water Aerobics during Pregnancy

If you’re looking for a fitness regimen that will help you keep fit throughout your pregnancy, consider doing some water aerobics. Being in water will take the weight off your legs and back and you will feel more comfortable working out. Aside from that, aquarobics has been shown to help during labor. According to a study published recently in the journal Reproductive Health, a course of water aerobics classes done by sedentary and low risk pregnant women has been shown to reduce the amount of pain-killing medication women request during labor.

If you are not currently exercising and would like a program you can be comfortable with, an excellent, low-impact program for pregnant women is aqua aerobics or water fitness. Aqua aerobics has most of the fat-burning and endurance-building qualities of land-based aerobics, without the high-impact pounding that can be dangerous while pregnant.

Guidelines when exercising in the pool

Water exercise is easy and safe, as well as beneficial to all levels from beginner to advanced. You don’t need to be able to swim to participate in water workouts – many moves are performed in waist or chest-high water, and you don’t even need to join a special organized class; simply swimming laps, or walking, jogging, or running in water will strengthen your core, trunk muscles, legs and hips, and increase your cardio-respiratory fitness. While water workouts don’t require any special equipment, there are flippers, foam tubes, webbed gloves, and water weights available that can enhance the moves.


The best way to exercise is to be in water at arm pit level when standing. Recommendations for a good water class include: 1) warm up, 2) exercise and 3) relaxation.


For a great 30-minute workout, alternate aerobic activity with strengthening moves. Warm up for five minutes or so by swimming a few laps or walking back and forth across the pool. Then alternate high-intensity walking or jogging with low-intensity recovery periods. The length of each interval will depend on your fitness level – start with 15 seconds and see how you feel. Repeat this high-low interval for 3 minutes, then perform one of the following strengthening moves. Follow this with another aerobic set and then another strengthening move, continuing this way for 30 minutes. Cool down for five minutes by swimming some laps or walking around the pool, and be sure to do some gentle stretching.

Strengthening Moves

The dolphin kick is one of the best exercises to do in the water, as the water allows you to do movements and work muscles that you aren’t able to on land because of the buoyancy.


Note: Don’t expect to keep your pre-pregnancy pace, and stop immediately if you experience fatigue or dizziness, headache or cramping. Call your doctor if you notice any vaginal bleeding, contractions, unusual absence of fetal movements (although your baby is naturally quieter when you are most active), blurred vision, or difficulty walking.


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