Magazine article USA TODAY

Aquatic Exercise Helps Expectant Mothers

Magazine article USA TODAY

Aquatic Exercise Helps Expectant Mothers

Article excerpt

According to a number of medical and fitness experts, women who regularly exercise in water during pregnancy can reap significant health and fitness benefits. Roger Galvin, chief executive officer of The National Spa & Pool Institute, suggests that the overall health benefits of swimming and water fitness is one reason for a surge in pool sales.

Jane Katz, an aquatics instructor, competitive swimmer, and author of Water Fitness During Your Pregnancy, explains that the buoyancy of water allows pregnant women to feel nearly weightless, so they can do any given activity longer and under greater control. "The magic buoyancy of water is a woman's best friend when she's pregnant," she notes. "Not only can she exercise longer and harder, but she can do it up until the day she goes into labor."

Some of the benefits that water fitness provides during pregnancy are increased circulation, flexibility, and muscle tone, as well as maintenance of bone density, indicates Bonnie Berk, a registered nurse, personal fitness trainer, and founder of the Motherwell Maternity Health and Fitness Program. "Exercising in water helps a pregnant woman improve circulation, which increases oxygen and blood flow to her and the fetus and relieves swelling caused by water accumulation," she says. …

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