Take to the Water for Exercise

Staying active when you're pregnant is important. Swimming is a great option. 

Swimming uses most of your major muscles, builds strength and endurance, and increases flexibility. Because you have to work against the water’s resistance, you also can get an excellent aerobic workout.

At the same time, water holds up your body. This takes stress off your bones and joints. It also lowers your risk for injury. This gentle support makes water a good exercise environment for pregnant women.  It can also help ease back pain due to pregnancy.  

Get the green light from your healthcare provider

If you want to start or keep up a swimming program, check with your healthcare provider first. If you have certain health issues, it may not be safe to exercise. If your healthcare provider says it’s OK, aim to be active for 30 minutes on most days of the week.

A better water workout

The only downside to water workouts: They won’t strengthen your bones as much as strength exercises or weight-bearing activities. These include walking or running.

To boost the effectiveness – and enjoyment – of water workouts, try these tips:

  • Switch up your swimming routine. Alternate laps of crawl with laps of breast, side, or backstroke.

  • Use kick boards, hand paddles, webbed mitts, and buoyant barbells.

  • Sign up for a water aerobics class.

  • Try running in water.

Make sure you drink enough water when you’re swimming. Because your body is wet and you’re in the water, you may not think that you can become dehydrated. But you’re expending energy and losing fluid. So, be sure to drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after your workout.

Online Medical Reviewer: Bowers, Nancy, RN, BSN, MPHFoley, Maryann, RN, BSN

Date Last Reviewed: 4/12/2016

© 2000-2019 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.