Your pregnancy is going to place immense strains on your body. You are going to discover new aches and pains in your hips, stomach, back, and up into your rib cage. Labor and natural delivery is one of the most intensive physical activities any human can experience. Antenatal exercises can help you prepare your body making pregnancy less stressful, less painful, and much safer.
Before beginning any exercises during pregnancy make sure you take the time to consult with your obstetrician or mid-wife. They are the ones carefully monitoring your physical condition and can make recommendations on additional exercises, or exercises to avoid. Safety for you and your baby should always come first.
While not specific to pregnancy the first of the antenatal exercises we recommend is walking. It does not target a specific area but provides for overall conditioning, better blood circulation, and feelings of well being. You do not need to walk long distances for great benefits. If it is too hot or cold to walk outside head to your mall or favorite super center and do your walking there. 20 to 40 minutes walking a day is ideal for high levels of fitness and benefit.
Perhaps the most common antenatal exercises recommended by doctors, nurses, mid-wives, and trainers is the Kegel pelvic floor exercise. This exercise is very simple and can be done anywhere. While sitting comfortably tighten the same muscles in your pelvic floor you would use to stop urine flow. Hold them tightly for a count of 4 to 6, then release. Repeat this exercise 15 to 20 times. You can repeat this exercise about 3 times per day. The pelvic floor is important in supporting your baby and during delivery, do not overlook the importance of this simple exercise.
Abdominal strength is very important during pregnancy and delivery, but is very difficult to exercise. Sit-ups and ab crunches are out of the question. The most effective and easy abdominal exercise is the tummy tuck. Get down on your hands and knees. Keep your back straight and do not arch during this exercise. Simple attempt to pull your belly button back to your spine by compressing your abdominal muscle. Hold the tightened muscles for a couple second and then release. Repeat 15 to 20 times. You can do this exercise once per day to maintain and improve abdominal strength.
Back strength is equally important. Your back is attempting to support a new load developing out to the front. After finishing your tummy tucks stay on your hand and knees. Now is the time to arch your back slowly and gently. Bring your shoulders up and your hips up at the same time. This is a low stress form of back exercise, but can increase flexibility and strength.
Using only these three antenatal exercises can help increase your strength and allow you to more easily carry your baby. You can avoid many aches and pains and improve your strength for delivery. Check with your doctor and then get started exercising for a safer healthier pregnancy.