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These four simple exercises incorporate stretches and movements from yoga. For best results, do them every day for 10 to 15 minutes, starting after your first postnatal medical checkup. (Be sure your healthcare provider approves.) They are designed to improve your muscle tone, make you aware of good posture and increase the gracefulness of your walk. They will also strengthen your back and abdominal muscles so you can easily handle the increasing weight of your new baby. If you find it difficult to do all the exercises at one time, try fitting in two exercise periods of roughly five minutes each.
Begin on all fours. Inhale. Lift your head, keeping your back straight or arching slightly (avoid strain). Then exhale, round your back, tighten abdominals, tuck in tail and head. Repeat the sequence eight times. This exercise strengthens the back and abdominals.
Lie on your back in a straight line. Then exhale, lowering the back, vertebra by vertebra. Repeat sequence five times. This exercise helps develop a strong back and abdominals.
Sit upright, knees bent, feet flat on the floor, back straight, arms forward at shoulder level. Inhale, then exhale and lean back halfway. Inhale again and sit up slowly. Repeat five times. This exercise strengthens the back and abdominals.
Stand upright with arms raised, elbows slightly relaxed. Inhale, then exhale and bend forward, keeping back straight and swinging arms down and back. Then relax your head and stretch your arms up behind you. Inhale as you swing arms and body up again, returning to your original position. Repeat eight times. Go carefully and do not strain. This exercise is good for thighs, hips, back, arms, shoulders and neck.