Feeling frenzied all the time can take a toll on your fertility. Here’s how you can chillax and boost your odds of baby-making success.
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2. Shallow–water jacks Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms extended sideways to shoulder height. Jump up and bring soles of feet together toward groin. At the same time, press arms downward. Separate feet to starting position, moving arms back to shoulder height. Repeat jacks for 1 minute (about 40–50 reps). Remember to jump straight up and down without arching back or drifting backward. Strengthens buttocks, thighs, hips, shoulders and back.
3. Opposite elbow to knee Stand with feet pointing forward, hip-width apart. Bring right knee up to hip height and cross left elbow down just past outside of knee (as pregnancy progresses, you will not touch knee). Return to starting position and repeat with left knee and right elbow; alternate for 1 minute (about 30 reps). When belly gets large, bring same-side elbow down to knee lift, incorporating a slight side bend. Strengthens abdominals.
4. Side–to–side lunges Facing and holding edge of pool, place feet on pool wall as high as you comfortably can, with knees and feet turned out at a 45-degree angle as in a plié (if pool doesn’t have an edge to grasp, place feet at bottom of wall). Alternately, bend one leg and keep the other straight (lunge position), holding 20–30 seconds before shifting sides. Do 20 reps (10 to each side). Strengthens legs; stretches inner thighs and groin.
Before getting in the water, fasten an Aquajogger belt securely around your middle, where comfortable. Then, float in water deep enough that your legs won’t touch the pool bottom. You can do these moves through all 3 trimesters, but near the end of your pregnancy, you’ll probably focus more on upper body and arms because your belly will limit movement. Do exercises in the order listed without stopping. If you’re only doing the deep-water program, you can do this routine 3–6 times a week. If you’re cross training, do the program 2 or 3 times a week. As your pregnancy progresses, the deep-water program may feel more comfortable than any of the others.
1. Cross–country skiing Balance yourself in upright position, legs hanging straight down, arms at sides, palms facing in. Keeping arms and legs straight, torso erect and centered and shoulders over hips, “scissor kick” legs (1 forward, 1 back) as arms do the same movement in opposition. Flex foot up as you stride forward and point foot as leg extends back and behind you. Alternate 1 minute of skiing (about 30–50 reps) with 1 minute of the jumping jacks in exercise 2. Strengthens chest, shoulders, buttocks, middle back, and front and rear thigh.