Author: Jenn Logan, MS, MHA, RCEPsm, CCET, Community and Aquatics Programs Manager, South Shore Hospital
Did you know South Shore Hospital offers a prenatal aquatic exercise class? Exercising while you are pregnant is beneficial to both you and your baby, and a great way to get a good workout in is in the water. Water provides buoyancy assistance, resistance, and support, making it an ideal environment to exercise in while pregnant.
The buoyant properties of water can assist with decreasing symptoms of sciatic pain, carpal tunnel, and generalized low back pain to name a few. By exercising in a non-weight bearing environment, any additional stress put on your frame from pregnancy can be decreased, resulting in less discomfort.
Water is also a great place to work on developing core musculature which will be beneficial for childbirth and returning to pre-pregnancy shape. Water provides a consistently challenging environment for your posture, making your core muscles work harder to keep you in one position.
In addition to keeping your muscles stronger, water also provides a great environment to work on your cardiovascular (aerobic) health. Your heart rate will be an average of ten to twenty beats lower in the pool as compared to when doing land cardiovascular exercises. This means you can do more work for your heart for a longer period of time in water, which can be especially beneficial to maintaining a healthy weight gain while pregnant.
Water is a safe and fun environment to exercise in while pregnant, but you should consider the following suggestions to make the experience as positive as possible:
- Make sure you hydrate before and have water readily available to you as you exercise
- Check in with your midwife or obstetrician prior to beginning an exercise regime to make sure it is safe for you
- Find an exercise professional to guide you through your aquatic workout for exercises and form
- Be careful not to overheat. Your workout should be challenging for you in a way that is fatiguing without being exhausting
Looking for a class? Please contact our Center for Physical Wellness at (781) 624-4367 or email Jennifer_Logan@sshosp.org for more information.