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Keep Moving, Mama!

When you are pregnant, your body goes through a lot of changes physically, emotionally and mentally. While some of who have been very active in the gym prior to your pregnancy still enjoy working out, surely there are some who can barely find the energy to get out of bed every morning.

It is about time to change that…

It is important to keep moving even while you are expecting. Pregnant women who made it a point to keep exercising all throughout their pregnancy have less back pain, more energy and a better body image even post-delivery.

Many of you get it wrong however; being fit does not mean spending the day at the gym or having fancy equipment. All you have to do is spend a maximum of 30 minutes a day going for a walk or doing some easy exercises in the comforts of your own home.

SIMPLE & SAFE EXERCISES!

To make it easier for you, we have compiled five easy exercises that are simple, can be done at home and are completely safe to do in each semester.

You only have to follow the moves in the order shown and do them every other day. Be sure to consult your doctor ahead of time before starting this.

Plié

Stand parallel to the back of a chair with your closest hand resting on it, feet parallel and hip-distance apart. With your toes and knees turned out to 45 degrees, pull your belly button up and in.

Bend your knees, lowering your torso as low as possible while keeping your back straight. Straighten your legs to return to starting position. Do three sets of ten.

This exercise strengthens: Quadriceps, hamstrings and butt.

Side-Lying Inner and Outer Thigh

Lie on your right side, head supported by your forearm, right leg bent at a 45-degree angle and left leg straight. Place your opposite arm on the floor for stability. Lift left leg to about hip height. Do three sets of ten.

Then, bend your left knee and rest it on top of pillows for support. Straighten your right leg and lift it as high as possible. Switch sides and do three sets of ten.

This exercise strengthens: Core and inner thighs.

Plank

Get down on your hands and knees, wrists directly under your shoulders. Lift your knees and straighten your legs behind you until your body forms a straight line. Don’t arch your back or let your belly sag.

Hold for 1 to 2 breaths, working up to 5 breaths.

This exercise strengthens: Core, arms and back.

Curl and Lift

Sit on the edge of a chair with your back straight, feet on the floor, arms at your sides. Hold a five to eight pound weight in each hand, palms facing your body. Bend your elbows so your arms form a 90-degree angle.

Then, keeping your elbows bent, lift the weights to shoulder height. Lower your arms to your sides, then straighten to return to starting position. Do three sets of ten.

This exercise strengthens: Biceps and shoulders.

One-Arm Row

Using a chair, place your right knee on the seat, left foot on the floor. Bend forward, back parallel to the floor and place your right hand on the seat. Hold a five to eight pound weight in your left hand, arm extended down and in line with your shoulder, palm facing in.

Bend your left elbow up so that your arm forms a 90-degree angle. Hold, and then return to starting position. Do three sets of ten on each side.

This exercise strengthens: Back, biceps and triceps.

EXERCISES TO AVOID!

Some of you who find the exercises above to be a piece of cake might think you can take on something more challenging. However, bear in mind that there are some moves you should avoid during pregnancy.

  • Don’t lie flat on your back, particularly after 16 weeks because the weight of your bump presses on the main blood vessel bringing blood back to your heart and this can make you feel faint
  • Don’t take part in contact sports where there’s a risk of being hit, such as kickboxing, judo or squash
  • Don’t go scuba diving, because the baby has no protection against decompression sickness and gas embolism (gas bubbles in the bloodstream)
  • Don’t exercise at heights over 2,500m above sea level until you have acclimatised: this is because you and your baby are at risk of altitude sickness
  • Being active and energetic is an essential part of your pregnancy as it would benefit you in the long run. Even simple workouts, such as a short walk around your neighbourhood and taking the stairs instead of the elevator to your office after lunch would help contribute in keeping your fit and healthy.

Tips & Tricks!

  • Always warm up before exercising and cool down once you are done
  • Try to keep active as much as possible – complete the exercises on alternate days
  • Avoid any strenuous exercise in hot weather
  • Drink plenty of water and other fluids
  • If you attend exercise classes, make sure your trainer is properly qualified, and knows you are pregnant as well as how long into your pregnancy you are
  • Try swimming because the water will support your increased weight

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