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Nutrition & Exercise

Easy Pregnancy Exercises To Feel Better — Now!

Don’t think of it as exercise. These pregnancy-safe moves will ease back and leg pain and help you sleep.
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Pregnant? We hear you on the aches and pains! Nicole Glor, the creator of NikkiFitness Baby Bootie Camp and The Slimnastics Workout, put together these easy, pregnancy-safe moves that should get you feeling like yourself again!
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You’ll need:
-Yoga mat
-Foam roller—we added a cover with bumps for an extra massage (by SilverSport)
-3- to 5-pound dumbbells (make them 6- to 8-pounders if you’re more experienced)
-Gym shoes (optional)
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This maneuver will give you a nice calf massage and promote circulation, which could reduce swelling. Sit and put your arms down at either side. Bend your right leg so your foot is flat on the floor. Straighten your left leg, placing it over your roller. Push down with your arms and right leg, as you roll your left leg over the roller. Do it 1 to 2 minutes per muscle area; then switch to the other leg.

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More relief for aching calves! Get on your hands and knees and push yourself up into an inverted V so that your legs are straight. Push up and back with your arms so your legs get a nice stretch. Relax your neck and head. Hold for 30 seconds. Then bend each knee, one at a time, to deepen the stretch.

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If your wrists are aching because of carpal tunnel, do these stretches standing against a wall.

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Some moms-to-be find it tough to work out their back during pregnancy — since you need to lie on your stomach for many back exercises — but this yoga-based pose is totally doable. Just get on your hands and knees, with your hands directly under your shoulders, and knees directly under your hips. You can put your hands flat on the mat, but if your wrists hurt, just make fists. Then, extend the opposite arm and leg at the same time and hold for several seconds. Do 10 reps on each side.

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Got backaches? On all fours, curve your back up (like a cat) and drop your head. Then do the opposite, arching your back down and looking up. Repeat 5 to 10 times.
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Prevent further back pain by strengthening your back muscles. (Post-pregnancy, this will also help you be able to hold and feed baby without hurting your posture.) Holding dumbbells, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees bent. Bend forward from your hips and raise both arms out to the sides, squeezing your shoulder blades together behind you. Do 3 sets of 20.

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When you’re pregnant, your center of gravity is off, which makes it much easier to lose your balance. So use the wall to keep yourself stable and safe during these lunges.

With one hand against the wall, step forward, extend one leg in front of the other, and bend at the knee. Be careful not to extend your knee beyond your ankle. If you’re having a tough time keeping your balance, take stepping out of the equation: Stand still with your feet apart and simply dip down and then up. Do 3 sets of 10 on each side.

The benefit? This works your thighs and butt. Plus, working your muscles helps your body settle down to “repair” at bedtime, and that translates to a better night’s sleep for you.

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Drink lots of water to prevent dehydration and help with those aches and pains.

Something about the potassium in bananas helps prevent muscle cramps.

YogaFit PreNatal is a great DVD for challenging, pregnancy-safe yoga.

Plus, More from The Bump:

Fit Exercise Into Your Busy Schedule

Nutrition During Pregnancy

Best Pregnancy Workout DVDs

By Elena Donovan Mauer