Pregnancy Fitness: Swimming (Aqua Jogging)
Hi babes! Hope you are all doing well! Happy weekend! Hope you are all settling in ready for the big storms hitting this weekend! Yikes!
We are currently settling in at home now and big brothers will be joining us tomorrow. I have so much to share about the birth of baby Sammy, but I have honestly just been trying to rest, recover and soak up every moment so far!
Before I had baby Sammy, I wrote up a “series” of pregnancy fitness posts for the blog to post during the first couple of postpartum weeks (the first post I wrote was about Running while pregnant), and I’ll be posting 2-3 more that I wrote up throughout pregnancy.
Today I’ll be sharing Pregnancy Fitness: Swimming. In each of these posts I’ll talk about what workouts I did, what I liked/didn’t like about the particular form of working out, and my must haves for each! I linked my aqua jogger…and a ton of bathing suits that I am loving right now …a few maternity and the rest just regular (sooooo excited to be out of maternity clothes woot woot!!!!!)
Some super cute Bathing Suit Picks!
Super cute $35 flattering H & M blue and white striped suit | gingham. yes plz | AErie cute lace up. On sale!! | Love me some leopard | ‘I’m getting this Anthro bikini!!! | Another HM suit!! | Dying to buy a tularosa suit. I love their style!! | M I C K E Y suit!! So cute | my all time fave flattering suit for EVERYONE | This bikini is so frilly and feminine! LOVE | Classic black suit for everyone- on sale!! | Gorgeous maternity suit | striped maternity suit | Barbie suit!! | Cute tankini maternity | Black basic maternity suit!
My swimming background
I’ve been swimming ever since I was a baby..I’m pretty sure my mom had us in the water at like 3 months old! Partially this was due to the fact that she never really learned how to swim and she wanted to make sure that we didn’t turn out the same way. So, we were in the water ever since we were babies and also took swimming lessons. I didn’t love the lessons; but as a kid I did enjoy swimming. As you all know, soccer was obviously my passion so any swimming I did was leisurely. But let me be clear that I’m no Michael Phelps ha.
Intro to Aqua Jogging
Fast forward to college, where my roomie was a cross country runner. Because I have quite good endurance, when she would have extra mileage to do for her workouts for the week, sometimes I would run with her at night. The family that runs together, stays together..amiright??!! LOL.
The Aqua Jogger & some Amazon swimming picks!
Cupshe is awesome quality/price for suits LOL!!!!
Anyway, she ended up at some point getting injured and not being able to run for an extended period of time. The coaching staff and trainer instructed her to head to the University pool and swim with an aqua jogger. I had never heard of it and had no idea what it was! But, being the great friend and roomie, I decided to join in with her to make it less boring for her!
What is aqua jogging you ask? Aqua jogging is basically where you run in the water! You have a belt that goes around your waist and you are able to swim upright and run in a running motion.
There are all kinds of positive studies that show using aqua jogging as a form of cross training/injury prevention allows you to maintain your current cardiovascular level and fitness without the impact of actually running. In fact, they have done studies where participants have actually replaced 1-2 runs/week and still maintained their fitness level. In addition, aqua jogging is a great form of cardio for runners or ANY athlete with running in their sport who have an injury to continue exercising without impact.
Honestly , i am SO thankful that I was introduced to aqua jogging during my collegiate soccer career. It certainly isn’t the most “fun” workout (its a little bit boring at times) but there are so many benefits and it helped over the course of my professional career ( and AFTER!!) recover faster after travel, games, and also was a GOD SEND when I was injured! It allowed me to stay active, keep a good fitness base, and manage my weight while injured.
When I found out I was expecting with my first baby, swimming was one of the most popular forms of exercise that I read about for pregnant women. It was a great cross training option for me that I mixed in with my running, walking, and lifting. With each pregnancy I found I utilized the pool more and more, and this last baby especially. It also gives me a different option for a workout when not pregnant- if I’m sore, tired, etc!!
Reasons why I loved swimming/Aqua Jogging while pregnant:
Weightless: When you’re in the water you’re said to only feel 10% of your body weight. That literally has to be every single womans dream when pregnant! Feeling weightless for that 30-45 mins is amazing!
Reduces swelling: I always got a lot of comments from people about the fact that I had little to no swelling during my pregnancies. When you’re pregnant, your body produces 50% more blood and fluids to support the needs of your body and growing baby. I attribute low swelling during my pregnancies to good diet, staying active, but also my time in the pool. When you are submerged in the water, the outside water pressure pushes the extra fluid tissue water into your veins and kidneys …and out of your body into your urine! I swear i have to go to the bathroom 4 times after swimming! I’ve even weighed myself after and there is no doubt I lose a pound or two of fluid retention.
No impact: I love the fact that I can get a workout in without it hurting any of my joints or muscles. Pregnancy is a huge demand on the body and being active without impact is a WIN. No uncomfortable pounding (like running when you get bigger)…and the bigger you get the heavier that uterus, placenta and baby are! The pressure is unreal…to not feel that..AMAZING.
Calorie Burn: The calorie burn for any activity in the water is HUGE. Obviously you have to work harder because of the resistance of the water, and aqua jogging is said to burn anywhere from 8-12 calories/minute depending on how much you weigh. That’s 80- 100 Calories for 10 minutes; similar if not more than running!
I don’t need to get my hair wet: haha. I know this one is kind of vain but I love aqua jogging because I don’t need to get my hair wet :)
Refreshing: Last but not least, I always felt so refreshed coming out of the water. If you are pregnant during the summer months, get. in. the. water!! And, even thought this last pregnancy ended in january, I still enjoyed getting in the water even though it was so cold outside. The first minute or two might be a bit chilly, but once you get going its totally worth it!
I usually have two forms of aqua jogging workouts: Intervals and steady state.
During this past pregnancy, 75% of my aqua jogs were steady state mostly because that is what I felt my body could do at the time. Earlier in the pregnancy, and when I utilize swimming for cross training, I definitely do more intervals. This basically means I “jog” steady state for 5 mins as a warmup and then pick either time or distance to “sprint” in the water, and then jog. So, 30 seconds “sprint”, and then into 30 seconds “jog” and repeat. This gets the heart rate up, makes the workout go faster, and burns more fat/calories!
The cons of swimming/aqua jogging:
The first would have to be obviously access to water! I am lucky and have access on a personal level (indoor) as well as belong to a fitness club with a pool.
Comfort level in a public pool while pregnant: I know some women can be self conscious working out, being in a swimsuit while pregnant, don’t like being in a public pool…etc.
Boring: It can get a little boring. I try to play music, or get someone to join me (my mom, or my husband)
Time consuming: It does take up more time than a simple run or walk— driving to and from the pool (if not at your house), changing, full shower after…etc.
Bottom Line: Swimming is a WIN
The pros clearly outweigh the cons IMO and I honestly feel so grateful to have been able to swim and stay active throughout my pregnancy. It was so amazing to have the option especially in the later stages of pregnancy where just moving seemed challenging! Also, I missed running so much and this filled the void a little bit.
I definitely recommend getting in the water if you can- whether that is at your house, a friends, a local high school/college or the YMCA that you belong to! In addition, the aqua jogger is fairly inexpensive!
Have a great weekend xo