Friday, November 27, 2015

Elizabeth Street


Why Swimming is One of the Best Workouts for Pregnant Women

Sep 23, 2013

Why Swimming is One of the Best Workouts for Pregnant Women

For anyone with access to a swimming pool (and a great suit), taking the plunge may provide one of the very best workouts for women. And even though summer is officially over, the incredible benefits of swimming are persuasive enough for us to head to our gym's indoor pool to do a few laps, even when it’s freezing outside.

Unlike so many other forms of exercise, swimming is great for women in particular because it's gentle on our skeletal systems, which we have to take particular care of as we get older. The weightlessness we experience in the water makes it the perfect environment for a low-impact workout—an added bonus for those recovering from injuries, as well as for expectant moms and those who have just given birth.

“I was a competitive swimmer throughout my teen years and finally got back into the water about three weeks ago,” says Rhode Island-based Audrey McLelland. “I just had my fifth baby 11 weeks ago and for me, swimming is the best exercise because it's very low impact, but I'm also working every muscle and burning lots of calories.”

She’s right about that. Swimming is a true aerobic workout, and doing laps in intervals will definitely give you one of the most effective, calorie-burning workouts you can get. “I have been doing 30 laps of freestyle, 10 laps of kicking with a kick board, 10 laps of strength training with a pull-buoy and then a warm-down of 20 laps, alternating between freestyle and backstroke. My body has felt tremendous!” says Audrey.

As you're making your way through the water, that creates resistance—and we all know that resistance exercises are the best for creating long, lean muscle tone. To top it all off, swimming is an incredible escape for the mind. The calming, Zen effect of being underwater, away from noise and chaos, will be a very welcome daily routine. Ready to dive in?

By Gaia Guidi Filippi

Check out Heidi Powell’s effective pool workouts, or find some pool-based fitness classes to join near you.

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