Exercising during pregnancy can help to ease a lot of discomfort during labour and delivery. Regular exercise is also beneficial for getting back into shape post-pregnancy. Here is a routine workout, which you should do every day, just to keep your body supple and limber.
Stand with your feet 15 to 18 inches apart, and hands on your waist. Stretch your neck to the left, roll it back and stretch to the right. Repeat slowly 4 times, moving your head in opposite directions. If bending your neck forwards does not make you dizzy, move your neck clockwise and anticlockwise, twice.
Shoulders (10 times in each direction)
With your hands on the side, shrug your shoulders back, up, forward and down again. Place your fingers on your shoulders and rotate your elbows forward in as wide a circle as possible, and then backwards. With hands on the sides, swing them round and round forwards and backwards.
Arms (10 times in each direction)
Raise your arms to your sides, stretch them outwards, and bring them forward till they meet. Then stretch them as far back as they go. Do not forget to repeat 10 times! Clasp your fingers behind your buttocks and stretch them as high up as they go. Bring down and repeat.
Waist (10 times in each direction)
With your hands on your waist twist as far back as you can go, in each direction. Do not move your upper body. Make sure you feel the stretch on your waist. Bring your arms up straight, shoulder level and swing them backwards in each direction, once again feeling the pull in your waist.
Stand with your feet 3 to 4 feet apart, hands on hips, bend your knees slightly, and bend to the left and then right. Make sure you bend sideways and not forwards. Feel the pull in your waist.
Lower Back Stretch (5 times)
Stand with your feet together, knees straight, and slowly try to touch your fingers to your toes. Hold the stretch for at least 7 seconds. Repeat.
Thigh Stretch (10 times each foot)
With your legs about 3 to 4 feet apart, try and touch the toes with the fingers of your opposite hand without bending your knees. Swing your hands from one leg to the other.
The last 2 exercises may have strained your lower back a little, so with hands on your waist and feet 15 to 18 inches apart, simply stretch backwards and forwards a few times, in a bending motion.
Once you finish the round of standing exercises, it's time to get out your exercise mat and squat. Watch out for Part II of our workout, tomorrow.
Walking during Pregnancy
Walking is the best exercise for pregnant women. This exercise is very simple to practice and it has low risk of injury. But one thing that you need while practising this exercise is a good pair of shoes and that is it. Good shoes will help you practice this exercise comfortably. Let us now take a look at the benefits of walking during pregnancy.
Walking improves blood circulation in the body. Good blood circulation in the body is a must for having a healthy pregnancy.
It improves the metabolism of the body and boosts the stamina.
It makes the body of a pregnant woman flexible thereby aiding a natural delivery.
Unnecessary weight gain can be prevented if walking is practised regularly.
Walking can help pregnant women to get better sleep.
It also helps to boost the energy level.
Regular walking can help to recover from the rigours of delivery faster.
You can practise the above set of exercises or practice walking every day. But, it is a must to consult your doctor before you start any exercise regimen. Walking for 20 minutes twice-a-day can do wonders to you during your pregnancy and after your delivery as well.
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- The Indiaparenting Team