When deciding to start a pregnancy exercise routine, it is advised that you should notify your Doctor or midwife prior to beginning as they can advise you on the best way to keep you and your baby healthy and safe while maintaining or improving your fitness levels.
Throughout your pregnancy it is safe and beneficial to participate in gentle exercise 3-4 times a week for periods of 20 to 30 minutes.
Exercise in normal pregnancy can provide great benefits including:
There are many types of exercises that you can participate in safely throughout your pregnancy including:
There are some situations where exercise may not be advised such as pregnancy-induced high blood pressure, placenta praevia, multiple pregnancy or pelvic instability. The doctor will advise you if exercise is not suitable during your pregnancy.
The thought of doing a thousand crunches to get rid of your post–baby "pouch" sounds pretty boring, right? As luck would have it, you don't need to, because crunches are as ineffective as they are dull for toning your ab muscles. In fact, working only the outer abdominal muscles, as crunches do, without strengthening the underlying ones first can actually make your “pouch” worse.
Do this move as early as one week after you have your baby if you had a vaginal delivery; if you had a C-section you might have to wait 8 to 10 weeks.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and a pillow under your hips and another between your knees. Feet flat and your arms at your sides, inhale, then exhale and draw your abs in and tuck your pelvis under slightly, squeezing your buttocks as you do a Kegel (click here to learn how). Hold 5 seconds and release for 10 reps.
Improves deep abdominal strength and stamina.
After six weeks, add this move to your routine. Lie on your back with feet hip-width apart, knees bent. Inhale, then exhale as you draw your abs up and in toward your spine. Tilt your pelvis up, lifting your hips off the floor into a bridge. Slowly lower down to starting position. Repeat 5 times, building up to 10.
Strengthens the transverse, buttocks and lower back.
Lie on your back, knees bent. Place a towel across your upper shins and grasp each end. Pull the ends of the towel and squeeze thighs together. Inhale, then exhale as you draw your abs in and lift your shoulders off the floor. Hold, and contract and release, your ab muscles 10 to 12 times, working up to 20. Do moves 1–4 in order for two weeks.
Strengthens the transverse abdominal muscle.
Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet hip-width apart and abs drawn in. Flex your left foot, pressing your heel into the floor. Keeping your pelvis still, inhale, then exhale as you use your deep abdominal muscles to push your left heel away from your body, keeping the knee slightly bent. Return to starting position. Alternate sides, doing 5 slides on each side, working up to 10. Do these first three exercises together and in order for the next two weeks, then add move
Strengthens the transverse abdominal muscle and lower back, supporting your core.
For all these exercises, meal plans, meditation tips and more, join The 28 by Sam Wood fitness and exercise program for pregnant women or if you have just been blessed with a new bundle of joy.
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