Pre-natal swimming in Tokyo

By on April 2, 2012
Among the things a medical practitioner will tell you once pregnancy is confirmed is to take good care of your health.  This means abstaining completely from alcohol, eating a good balanced diet and doing a lot of walking to keep the heart beat rate normal.  But these days, there are a lot of activities designed to promote physical fitness for expectant mothers.  One of them is swimming.

We asked Mozza Yamaguchi, master swimming coach at Mozza Swim School about his pre-natal swimming lessons in Tokyo.

TF:  What is a typical swimming program offered at your school for pregnant women? 

Mozza:  We accept pregnant women for swimming lessons after they provide the medical approval from their doctor.   Before each swimming lesson we would advice her to check the blood pressure, pulse and general health condition. Only if the health condition is good can we proceed with the swimming lesson. A swimming lesson program is for 45 mins.  It includes- stretching
– aqua exercises focusing on relaxing and loosening up the muscle tension of the lower and upper back
– aqua walking and breathing exercises
– lap swimming (depends on the swimming skills) or floating in the water (watsu style)
– water zazen (long underwater breath-holding and straining)

TF:  What does a pregnant woman expect to benefit from pre-natal swimming?
Mozza:  Maternity swimming is focused on relaxation and breathing control. Swimming during pregnancy improves blood circulation, boosts heart and lungs function, increases muscle tone and builds strength and endurance, burns calories, promotes hormonal balance, good sleep and fends off fatigue.

Swimming and water exercises will help with swelling and fluid retention during pregnancy. Swimming also aids baby development.

TF: Whereabouts in Tokyo or Yokohama do you give your lessons?
Mozza:  There are many swimming pools in and around Tokyo where we provide the lessons. It  depends on the client’s needs, where they live or work.

TF:  Until what stage of pregnancy would you give swimming instructions to?

Mozza:  The pregnant woman can swim from the moment her pregnancy is stabile. It depends on the medical doctor approval.

TF:  Any advice  you can give to pregnant women who would like to have pre-natal swimming lessons?
Mozza:  Swimming is such a great exercise because it offers a low-impact cardiovascular workout. It uses large muscle groups in both your arms and legs at the same time and allows you to feel weightless despite the extra weight of pregnancy. For those ladies who want to have swimming training without instructor, I would advise you to choose comfortable strokes and avoid any extreme workout.  For those who haven’t been swimming on a regular basis it is better to start off slowly, being careful not to overdo it.

It is very important to warm up before swimming through a few minutes of stretching and cooling down after each swimming session.

Mozza Yamaguchi may be contacted through Mozza Swim School that offers a swimming course for both adults and children all around Tokyo and Yokohama.

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