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Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise you can undertake during pregnancy. Submersion in the water provides a weightless environment, which is especially beneficial as the joints, muscles and ligaments become particularly susceptible to injury due to the increased levels of progesterone, causing them to soften and become overly flexible. Other benefits include maintaining maternal aerobic capacity and a sense of well being.

As long as you are experiencing a healthy pregnancy you should be able to undertake swimming for the full nine months. Unless advised otherwise it is safe to do any stroke that you feel comfortable with, find most physically beneficial and enjoy. However, breaststroke is particularly helpful in improving your posture and reducing back ache by strengthening your abdominal, back, chest and shoulder muscles.

If you are new to exercise it is best to start slowly and build up the length of time you spend in the pool over several weeks. During pregnancy your focus should be on doing what feels best for you and your baby rather that pushing your body hard to improve your fitness.

Although exercising in the water will help to reduce the chances of overheating it is still important to drink plenty of fluids before, during and after your swim to prevent dehydration.

Tips for each trimester

During the First Trimester

If you have the energy, swim for at least 20 minutes every other day for the greatest benefit. Swimming first thing in the morning may relieve morning sickness and fatigue

During the Second Trimester

You will not have to cut down on swimming as your body grows larger. You probably will need to adjust your schedule, but wearing a maternity swimsuit may be more comfortable as your stomach expands.

During the Third Trimester

The water will support your joints and ligaments as you swim, preventing injury. The breaststroke is particularly beneficial in the third trimester, because it lengthens the chest muscles and shortens the back muscles. These are two areas that typically become uneven as your body changes during pregnancy.

Click here for information about taking a fitness class or going to the gym during your pregnancy.

Postnatal

Baby swimming lessons can be a valuable learning and bonding time for both children and parents. It can be an effective method for helping a young child learn and become comfortable in the water.

Both mother and child can benefit from the activity and from a baby's swimming lesson. Although the exercise might not be truly strenuous for an adult, it is at least some activity and any pool activity is beneficial. Children need exercise and baby swimming lessons will do so by encouraging them to move in the water by rotating their arms and kicking their legs. When children are exposed to an active lifestyle and having fun swimming, they will be more likely to pursue active pastimes as they grow older.

Learn 2 Swim @ Xcite

Learn 2 Swim is our successful swimming lessons programme. Learn 2 Swim has a solid track record in delivering a quality, consistent and flexible programme. Most of all providing a safe and fun environment for children and adults to learn new skills.

By enrolling your child, or indeed yourself, within our Learn 2 Swim Programme you are guaranteeing an excellent swimming experience from our highly qualified swim teachers. Learn 2 Swim is affiliated with Scottish Swimming Awards and deliver this programme in all our swimming pools.

To find our more about Learn 2 Swim.

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