Body conditioning exercises, Part I
Body conditioning exercises will help increase your energy level, improve posture and muscle tone and make recovery after the baby is born faster and easier. During pregnancy you’re encouraged to do them daily. But, before you get started follow these guidelines from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG):
• get clearance from your health care provider
• drink plenty of water before exercise
• eat a high protein snack before exercise (Grain foods, rice, nuts, beans or tofu)
• do a 5 to 10 minute warm-up
• drink water during exercise if exercising for more than 20 minutes
• do not exercise outdoors if the temperature is above 80 degrees
1. Sit on your “sitz” bones. These are the bony parts that you feel under you when you sit up straight on a firm surface. Your legs should be shoulder width apart and your feet supported.
2. Slowly squeeze and raise the muscles of your pelvic floor as you inhale.
3. Hold these muscles for a count of three and slowly release as you exhale allowing the muscles of your pelvic floor to relax and open.
4. Work up to 10 to 15 sets each time you exercise. Do your pelvic exercises at least three times a day.
1. Stand with your feet comfortably apart and turned slightly outward for support. You can use a chair or table for support.
2. Lower your bottom toward the floor making sure that your knees don’t go past your toes and that the soles of your feet stay flat on the ground.
3. Press your feet into the floor and return to the starting position.
1. Assume the all fours position on your hands and knees. Your wrists should align with your shoulders. Your knees should align with the hips. Don’t lift your chin or tuck it under. Look straight down.
2. Tuck the pelvis under by tightening the buttocks and arching the upper backup toward the ceiling.
3. Relax the pelvis allowing the back to return to a flat position, never let the lower back hyper-extend or sag toward the floor.
IMPORTANT: Don’t put yourself at risk for injury — if you’re not sure if you’re using the correct muscles or positions, ask your health care provider or your childbirth educator for assistance.