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New aqua class aims to improve health of new mums

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Pregnant and post-birth women in the Eastern Bay of Plenty now have more options to safely exercise thanks to a new Aqua Mums class at Whakatāne Aquatic Centre.

The 45 minute class is the only one of its kind in the region, and is suitable for swimmers and non-swimmers alike. Instructor Raven said the class is designed to meet the needs of women at any stage of their pregnancy and after they give birth.

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“The classes are fun and aim to create a supportive environment for mums to safely exercise. Classes are a full bodied workout but allow mums to go at their own pace.

“During the class we go through safe and gentle exercises to help improve core stability and promote pelvic floor awareness which will ease some of the more common ailments experienced during pregnancy.”

Raven is a qualified instructor and has experience prescribing exercise and supporting the community to be active at the Whakatāne Aquatic Centre.

“Aquatic exercises are perfect during pregnancy and after birth because the buoyancy supports the body and reduces the impact on the lower back, pelvic joints and the pelvic floor. The water also helps regulate body temperature and provides a sense of comfort and relaxation.”

The new Aqua Mums class is the result of a joint initiative between Whakatāne Aquatic Centre and Sport Bay of Plenty.

Maternal Physical Activity Coordinator Lizzy Horlock from Sport Bay of Plenty said there’s a need to increase the number of group exercise opportunities for expectant and new mums across the Bay of Plenty and encourage more women to keep moving.

“Unfortunately there’s not many group exercise classes for pregnant women in the region, and there’s also a common misconception that it’s not safe to exercise during pregnancy. However, with your doctor or midwife’s approval and supervision, you can exercise up to your due date.”

Horlock said it’s important to stay active during pregnancy as being active and healthy helps both mum and the baby. There’s also the social benefit of meeting other expectant mothers and gaining further support during pregnancy.

“Being active for just 30 minutes a day can help strengthen heart, lungs and muscles, which in turn provides the extra energy and strength needed for birth and carrying the baby once born.

“Exercise can also improve your posture and reduce lower back pain, as well as ease common problems in pregnancy."

More information about the benefits of exercising while pregnant visit

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The new Aqua Mums runs every Thursday during school term from 12 to 12:45pm at the Whakatāne Aquatic Centre, 28 Short St. Classes commence Thursday 17th October 2019.

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