1. Make sure that the inflation hole plug is firmly pressed all the way into the ball.
2. Exercise on a carpet or a surface where the ball won’t roll out from under you. If you have a wood floor, place a nonslippery mat under the ball (a sticky yoga mat is great) or wear exercise shoes that grip well.
3. Wear snug, comfortable exercise clothes; loose shorts can stick to the ball and be uncomfortable.
4. If you need extra support to steady yourself, keep a sturdy chair nearby to hold onto when necessary.
5. Stop if you feel any discomfort during exercise.
6. Drink plenty of water during and after exercise.
7. Make sure your ball is at the best degree of inflation for you (see “Inflating the Ball”).
8. Stick with this program, even after the baby is born, and it will help with your postpartum recovery.
Tip: Inflating The Ball
Balls usually come in three sizes: 55 centimeters, 65 centimeters (the one used by most women) and 75 centimeters. The more you inflate a ball, the harder it will be to balance on it, thus increasing the intensity of your workout. If you’ve never used a fitness ball, inflate it partially before you begin, so that it’s firm but not hard. While sitting on it, your knees should be at a right angle to your hips. Don’t go beyond your ability to sit tall and balance on the ball. As you become more balanced, add more air. The balls are meant to sustain 300 pounds of body weight, so don’t be afraid that you’re too heavy.