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Ouch! Avoiding the Aches and Pains

Ways to Save Your Body

It's true! You can and should exercise throughout your pregnancy. Not only will you have more energy, but you will also be able to prevent and alleviate a lot of common aches and pains that come with being pregnant. After all, what is good for you is good for your baby. Pregnant women do face special considerations, and there are certain exercises that specifically target problem areas.

Many injuries occur at joints, where bones meet and provide motion. Your joints must endure an enormous amount of stress and constant pressure, even from everyday activities, especially with the added weight of pregnancy. Ligaments are more prone to injury as they become more pliable than usual, and your body may stretch further than it should. Just as you wouldn't expect your house to handle wear and tear without strong beams, your body won't handle stress without stronger muscles. Lower back pain, hip pain, shin splints, shoulder injuries, knee pain, tight calves - all can be avoided with warm-up and proper stretching, along with a little strength exercising.

The three areas most commonly plagued with pain are the lower back, hips, and knees. Here's how you can avoid problems with just a little strength training and stretching:

Lower Back
We usually think of sitting as a relaxing experience, but your lower back can feel as if the ceiling is coming down, with all the pressure being put on it. And all too often, the pain doesn't stop whether you're standing up or lying down. Lower back pain is often caused by muscular imbalance. When your abdominal muscles are over-stretched, you'll end up relying more heavily on your back to support your body weight.

Exercises that will help strengthen the lower back:

Start out doing 1-2 exercises for 10-15 reps, two times a week.

There are a few other things you can do to help ease back suffering. First, invest in a good pair of supportive shoes, especially if you stand or walk a lot during the day. Also, try to use good posture. Poor posture can put undue stress on your back. Make sure that your hips and shoulders are aligned, whether sitting, laying, or standing.

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About The Author

Joe Downie
Joe is a certified physical fitness instructor, personal trainer, and high school soccer coach.
Joe Downie

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