Pregnancy is a completely natural phenomenon and it is important to continue your normal daily routine, with some modifications of course, for as long as possible. A well - chosen fitness routine that can be done in the comfort of your own home, will make the whole pregnancy experience enjoyable.
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Provided you have cleared the type of exercises you want to do with your doctor, and chosen ones suitable to the particular stage of pregnancy you are in, it will benefit you immensely, and also make the birth process easier. Exercises to do at home will include stretching exercises, tailor exercises and Kegel exercises.
For exercises to do at home during pregnancy, find a suitable spot which has plenty of light and air and sufficient room to stretch and lie down. Have plenty of water handy, and if at any time you feel dizzy or faint, stop immediately, sit or lie down slowly and have a sip or two of water.
Stretching makes the muscles warm and help them loosen up. Following simple stretches can be done before and after exercises to do at home
Neck rotation - Relax neck and shoulders and drop your head forward. Slowly rotate your head, first towards the right shoulder, then to the middle back, over the left shoulder and back to the starting position. Complete four rotations on each side.
Shoulder rotation – Rotate your shoulders by bringing them forward first, then up towards the ears and down again. Do four repeats in each direction.
Swim – Imitate the crawl stroke by keeping hands at the sides and bringing one hand up and extended forward at a time and simultaneously twisting to the same side. Ten times, five sequences on either side.
Thigh shift – Stand straight with one foot extended in front of the other, toes pointing ahead. Lean forward, putting your weight on the forward thigh. Change legs, and do four repeats for each leg.
Leg shake – Sit with both legs and feet extended in front. Shake your legs gently by moving them up and down. Four times on each side.
Ankle rotation – Sitting in the same position and keeping toes relaxed, make large circles in the air. Repeat four times with each leg.
Also read: The right way to sleep during pregnancy
These set of exercises to do at home strengthen the hip, thigh and pelvic muscles and can help relieve low back pain which is common during pregnancy.
Tailor sit – Sit on the floor with knees bent and ankles crossed, Keeping back straight but relaxed, lean slightly forward. Try to use this position as many times as you can through out the day.
Tailor press – Sit on the floor and bend your knees, keeping the soles of the feet together. Grasping your ankles with both hands, pull your feet gently towards your body. Place your hands under your knees and inhale. Press your hands up against your knees and at the same time press your knees down against your hands. Hold for five counts.
Another set of exercises to do at home helps in strengthening the muscles that support the bladder and uterus. They can be done as many times as wished throughout the day by simply contracting the muscles of the pelvic floor. To do this, just imagine you are trying to stop the flow of urine. Try not to move your leg, buttock or abdominal muscles while doing Kegel exercises.
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