What is it?
Believe it or not, it’s STRETCHING!
So many “experts” talk about the benefits of exercise, but rarely do they mention STRETCHING. Well, I’m here to say that stretching is your FORGOTTEN friend!
It will allow you to have an easy, SAFE, and ache-free pregnancy. Please don’t
underestimate the power of stretching!
Here are my three FAVORITE stretches . . .
1. Hamstring (to relieve/prevent sore back)
Stand straight, place one foot in front of you, leaning on a chair. Tilt your toes up towards your nose and lean forward (pushing from your lower back) until you feel the stretch. Do not round your back! Hold the stretch for thirty to sixty seconds and remember to BREATHE.
2. Calf stretch (to relieve/prevent leg cramps)
Stand with the ball of your foot on the edge of a stair, slowly press your heel down, and hold. Use your other foot and hands to support you. Change sides. Hold the stretch for thirty to sixty seconds and remember to BREATHE!
3. Cat stretch (to relieve/prevent sore back)
Kneel on all fours, round your back up to the ceiling as high as it will go (like a cat!). Pretend you’re pulling your belly button in towards your spine. Hold the stretch for thirty to sixty seconds and remember to BREATHE!
Seven Reasons to STRETCH . . .
Stretching . . .
1. Increases your energy—It gets your circulation and oxygen flowing to all parts of your body (including your brain!).
2. Encourages flexibility and reduces aches—It elongates your muscles which will help prevent cramping and muscle tension.
3. Encourages body awareness—I keep coming back to this point; body awareness is KEY for an easy delivery. I found it really helped me to know exactly how to push (I could tell when I wasn’t doing it quite right!).
4. Improves posture—When you’re body aware, you connect with the ground better and likewise stand with better posture—very important in an healthy pregnancy, especially for the lower back!
5. Decreases tension—Stretching relaxes and soothes even the most tense moms-to-be. I know that as soon as I’m on to my second stretch (especially the floor ones!) I’m in a trance; nothing bothers me—give it a try, it’s worth it!
6. Encourages good breathing—A good stretch requires thirty to sixty seconds of good quality breathing to get the oxygen down to the muscles. All of that practice will definitely make your delivery easier!
7. Increases your well-being—I find that “stretchers” are happier mothers. They are more connected to their bodies and are typically happier overall with their pregnancies.
So, just as you brush your teeth every day, I’d encourage you to do at least a couple of KEY stretches to ward off any unwanted aches and suffering.
To learn MUCH MORE information on Pregnancy Topics visit pregnancywithoutpounds.com