Today, exercise during pregnancy, and provided that it is medically characterized as normal, is at least considered beneficial. Water aerobics and Pregnancy
However, because the conditions are "special", a detailed and careful planning of the exercise during the pregnancy phase is required, with purpose of securing above all the health of both the expectant mother and the new developing organism.
The main changes in the body during pregnancy are summarized as follows:
. Increase in oxygen consumption at rest.
. Increase in heart volume.
. Increase in blood volume.
. Increase in pulse volume and cardiac output.
. Relaxation of vascular tone.
. Small drop in pressure.
. Increasing the volume of air breathed.
. Difficulty in digestion.
. Increase in basal metabolism.
. Relaxation of the joints.
. Shifting the center of gravity.
. Continuous contraction of certain muscles.
. Increase in body temperature.
. Increased sweating.
. Increased feeling of tiredness and sleepiness.
Aquatics and Pregnancy
In the majority of the changes presented to the pregnant woman, exercising in the water with the hydro-gym equipment can prove to be very useful. During the exercise in the water we achieve:
– Protection of joints from unwanted injuries.
– Shifting the center of gravity, relieving the pregnant woman of pain and fatigue.
- Control of body temperature with the help of water so that increased sweating does not occur, but also a dangerous rise in temperature for the fetus.
- Reduction of swelling with the help of hydrostatic pressure, temperature and the exercise itself.
– Maintaining correct body position.
– Cultivation/maintenance of flexibility and proper muscle relaxation-stretching.
– Improving circulation and reducing the severity of varicose veins.
– Development/maintenance of muscle strength.
– Increased self-esteem and self-concept.
– Faster recovery of the silhouette after childbirth.
The recommended frequency of exercise is three times a week at low to moderate intensity. A heart rate limit of 125-150 beats per minute is recommended.
The duration of the exercise should not exceed 15-25 minutes, while special attention should be paid to the use of special equipment. There still needs to be a parallel intake of fluids from the athlete, a correct and appropriate warm-up as well as very careful movements and changes of direction.
Indications for stopping the exercise program are: appearance of swelling in the wrists and/or face, severe headache - dizziness - or visual disturbances, appearance of phlebitis, increase in blood pressure (>140/90) and heart rate, obvious fatigue, palpitations , chest pain, uterine contractions and unexplained abdominal pain.