What is it?
So many “experts” talk about the benefits of exercise – but rarely do they mention STRETCHING. Well, I’m here to say that stretching is the FORGOTTEN friend!
7 Reasons to STRETCH…
1. Increases your energy – it gets your circulation and oxygen flowing to all parts of your body (including your brain!);
2. Encourages flexibility and reduces aches – it elongates your muscles which will help prevent cramping and muscle tension;
3. Encourages body awareness – I keep coming back to this point; body awareness is KEY for an easy labor. I found it really helped me to know exactly how to push (I could tell when I wasn’t doing it quite right!);
4. Improves posture – when you’re body aware, you connect with the ground better and likewise stand with better posture – very important in an healthy pregnancy, especially for the lower back!
5. Decreases tension – stretching relaxes and soothes even the most tense moms-to-be. I know that as soon as I’m on to my second stretch (especially the floor ones!) I’m in a trance, nothing bothers me – give it a try, it’s worth it!
6. Encourages good breathing – a good stretch requires 30-60 seconds of good quality breathing to get the oxygen down to the muscles. All of that practice will definitely make your delivery easier!
7. Increases your well-being – I find that “stretchers” are happier mothers. They are more connected to their bodies and are typically happier overall with their pregnancies. So, just as you brush your teeth every day, I’d encourage you to do at least a couple of KEY stretches to ward off any unwanted aches and suffering (especially back pain!).
Focus on stretching your chest, back and leg muscles (especially your hamstrings and hip flexors – these get very tight from sitting all the time!).
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