How To Stretch During Pregnancy
Stretching during pregnancy is highly recommended, specifically targeting the tightened or tensed muscles like those at the lower and upper back.Stretching is an easy, non-strenuous and enjoyable activity which relaxes the tense muscles, helps correct postural imbalances due to the additional weight on one side of the body, improves blood circulation and helps mobilize toxins for elimination. It also puts you in touch with your body which helps you connect with the changing body. It also improves range of motion at the joints.
It has also been found useful for ensuring smooth delivery, quicker postpartum recovery and preventing back problems post delivery.Additional weight on the abdomen region, tenses up the back muscles and also the postural muscles like hamstrings (at the back of thighs), calves, upper back muscles, to name some.
Here are a few stretches that may be useful –
Sit on the floor with your back against the couch or wall. Bend knees and put your feet together sole to sole, so now your legs are in a diamond shape on the floor. Slowly, bend forward towards the floor as far as is comfortable. This helps stretch the inner muscles. Hold the stretch for as long as is comfortable, not exceeding 25-30 seconds per repetition
Stand in front of a table or chair, with legs wide apart, and feet firmly on the floor. Now using the hands and supporting yourself on the chair or table, bend forward, as far as is comfortable, keeping your chin pointing ahead, and not down. Hold for as long as is comfortable, not exceeding 25-30 seconds per repetition.
Remember to note –
General stretching can be done for the whole body. However, in case you undertake any exercise activity like walking or swimming, make sure to include some activity specific stretches also to get the most out of your routine.
Stretching can be done, at anytime of the day. However, it is important and highly recommended that you warm up before stretching. A light walk around the house, garden or to and fro in the room, for about 5 -6 minutes should be a good way to warm up your body. Avoid jumping, jogging or swinging your body excessively.
Stay within your comfortable range of movement while stretching. This is about taking care of yourself. Do not treat this as a competition with yourself or others.
Make sure you also include a brief cool down session at the end of stretching, by just walking around for 4-5 minutes and then relaxing and lying down. Begin the stretching routine only under the guidance of an expert and certified trainer. Do not try stunts at home!