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Leg Exercises for Pregnant Women

Pregnancy Facts

There is a myth that says if a pregnant woman lifts her arms over her head, the baby will get tangled in the umbilical cord. This is not true at all and should not keep you from reaching high when you exercise.

Leg exercises improve circulation and reduce swelling and cramping in the ankles and calves. Give these simple ones a try:

  • Lie on your side with your head on a pillow. Bend the lower leg at the knee and keep the top leg straight. Stretch your top leg with toes pointed as you lift it off the floor as high as you feel comfortable. Lower it back to the floor. Do this four times and then turn on the other side and repeat.
  • This is a good one for your thighs: Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you. Cross your left ankle over your right knee. Use your right hand to pull the left thigh toward the right side.

Feel that stretch? Hold for one minute and then repeat on the other side. Do this just once a day and be careful not to stretch beyond your comfort level.

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excerpted from:

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth © 2004 by Michele Isaac Gliksman, M.D. and Theresa Foy DiGeronimo. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's website or call 1-800-253-6476.


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