Are you longing for a long and lean body like Vanessa Williams, Gwyneth Paltrow, or Jane Seymour?
Well the good news is all three of these women and many more around the globe do not pump weights or pound the pavement to get in shape.
Rather, their workout of choice involves the art of stretching.
We see this today in the form of yoga and pilates, which so many of us are choosing to do—the goal being to stretch and strengthen.
Stretching elongates the muscles. It relieves aches and pains, prevents new aches and pains from coming, and helps your body stay strong and flexible for delivery. But that’s not the only reason I love stretching types of exercise during pregnancy and post-pregnancy. I love these types of exercises for the following reasons …
- They’re gentle on the body, encouraging an optimal supply of blood and nutrients to baby.
- They focus on breathing, increasing the state of calm and abundant oxygen to baby.
- The goal is to get and stay in touch with your body, which is critical during pregnancy and delivery. (This helped me avoid having to have a C-section!)
- It emphasizes the connection between the body and mind or the psycho-physical, which calms internal fears and conflicts. (I did a yoga class this week and I was amazed at how much it helped me clear my mind of worry!)
- Deep relaxation, which is excellent for childbirth.
But yoga and pilates are not the only forms of stretching that you can do. I recommend you stretch your body out daily at home with a regular stretch routine. But because of the countraindications during pregnancy and good possibility of over stretching, it’s important that you know how to stretch safely.