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Prenatal cardio: Swimming. Maximum safety and maximum fun for you and your baby

By Published On: April 12th, 2012

Swimming is arguably the best cardio possible for your body. It is extremely low impact while still providing an entire-body toning, cardio workout. Not only is it a great exercise for prenatal cardio, but it is a fantastic way to continue exercising through your pregnancy. Doctors highly exonerate swimming during pregnancy. Of course, consult your doctor before keeping up any workout, swimming or not, while you are pregnant. But if you start on a swimming cardio routine now, most likely you can continue it throughout your whole pregnancy!

Swimming is very gentle on your joints. There are no pavement-pounding, jarring movements while are swimming. This is particularly beneficial for those with weaker joints or arthritis. But don’t let that fool you! Swimming packs a powerful cardio punch. Swimming at just a moderate pace for 30 minutes can burn approximately 206 calories for a 150-pound woman. Bring the pace up, and you could be burning about 330 calories! The reason for the impressive calorie burn lies in that it works your entire body. Plus, the water provides resistance to your movements.

While many of us don’t have the luxury of a pool in our backyards, many gyms have indoor pools. This allows you to swim year round, regardless of the weather!

If you aren’t very good at swimming, consider taking a private swim class. Or ask a friend or your partner to come with you and give you some tips. This is a great way to get others involved in getting a great cardio workout, too! Even if you can’t swim well, at least the efforts you put into swimming count as exercise! And with practice, you will get better.

Obviously, when you are swimming you will need a swimsuit. As cute and fun as they can be, skip on the bikinis. You are at the pool to get a great cardio workout, not to wow the hunky lifeguards. Bikinis have their place, but when you are there to lap swim, they can be a nuisance, with them riding up or straps falling. Invest in a supportive swimsuit that will be comfortable and keep everything in its place. You don’t want to be worrying about readjusting while you are clocking your laps.

If you have long hair or want to protect your hair from the chlorine, get a swim cap to tuck your hair into. A pair of goggles is also helpful to have. The chlorine content in pools can really irritate your eyes. Plus it is nice to able to open your eyes underwater and watch where you are going.

You can add fins or a kickboard into your lap training. If you are already in shape and a good swimmer, you could also add swimming weights to add a challenge to your cardio workout.

Be sure to take a water bottle with you! It’s always important to stay hydrated during cardio. Swimming can be deceptive, as you are already surrounded by water and you can’t tell you are sweating. But swimming requires you stay well hydrated. Make sure your water bottle has a good lid on it, and you can set it right by your lap lane.

As long as your baby and you are remaining healthy, your doctor will most likely encourage you to keep swimming–even into the third trimester. Your body will benefit from the workout, as well as be kept from injury due to the lack of strain being put on it.

[Disclaimer: Read this introduction before you begin any exercise program.]

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