Weight Lift with Cans
Next time you’re putting away
groceries, build up arm muscles by doing a little weight lifting with
each can (milk jugs and water bottles also work well). As you put a can
away, flex your arm a couple of times to work arm muscles. Alternate
arms for a balanced workout.
Work Out in Line
When you’re standing in line at the
grocery store, post office or anywhere else, do some creative
exercises. Rise up and down on your toes to work your calves. Spread
your feet apart slightly, and do subtle knee lunges to give quadriceps
a workout. Clench and relax buttocks muscles. Do some Kegel exercises
(see the following page) to strengthen vaginal muscles. Contract
stomach muscles. These exercises help you develop and strengthen some
of the muscles you’ll use during labor and delivery.
If you’re forced to stand in one place
for a long time, step forward slightly with one foot. Place all your
weight on that foot for a few minutes. If you’re still waiting, do the
same exercise for the other foot. Alternate the leg you begin with each
It’s probably a good idea to wear some type of support for your abdomen when exercising.
You probably have to reach for
things at home or at the office. When you do, make it an exercise in
controlled breathing. Before you stretch, inhale, rise up on your toes
and bring both arms up at the same time. When you’re finished, drop
back on your heels, and exhale while slowly returning your arms to your
Anytime you’re sitting
quietly—at home, at the office, in your car, on a bus or a train—do
this breathing exercise to strengthen abdominal muscles. Breathe deeply
and contract stomach muscles; hold for a couple of seconds, then exhale
slowly. Do this whenever you get the chance.
Bending to Relieve Backache
While standing at the kitchen
counter or a counter at work, bend your knees and lean forward from
your hips. Hold the position for a few minutes. This exercise is an
excellent way to relieve back stress.
Rising from a Chair
Some women find it difficult
to get out of a chair gracefully during pregnancy. This exercise helps
you maintain your grace and is also beneficial. Use leg muscles to
lower yourself into and raise yourself out of a chair. Slide to the
front edge of the seat, then push up with your legs to get out of the
chair. Use your arms for balance.
Kegel exercises strengthen pelvic
muscles. Practicing helps you relax your muscles for delivery. While
sitting, contract the lowest muscles of your pelvis as tightly as you
can. Tighten muscles higher in the pelvis in stages until you reach the
muscles at the top. Count to 10 slowly as you move up the pelvis. Hold
briefly, then release slowly in stages, counting to 10 again. Repeat
two or three times a day.
You can also do the Kegel exercises by
tightening the pelvic muscles first, then tightening the anal muscle.
Hold for a few seconds, then release slowly, in
reverse order. To see if you’re doing the exercise correctly, briefly
stop the flow of urine while you are urinating—the muscles you use to
do this are the same muscles you use in the Kegel exercises.
Stretch at least a couple of times a week. Stretching may lower stress levels and help calm you.