Get It Straight
Tweak your body’s alignment for a pain-free pregnancy.
Exercise is not the only way to help minimize pregnancy aches and pains, says biomechanist Katy Bowman, M.S. “A lot of pregnant women are active, but they’re not carrying their bodies the right way, so it negates some of the benefits of working out.” These minor tweaks to your posture will take pressure off your joints and nerves, allowing your muscles to pull their weight.
Sitting Try a standing work station, or at least use the last five minutes of each hour to stand, stroll and stretch your calves. When you do sit, park your bottom directly on your sit bones. (You can find these bones by grabbing each butt cheek and moving the flesh out to the sides.) Sitting this way will get you off your tailbone and create a small curve in your lower back.
Standing Shift your pelvis back so your weight rests on your heels and you can lift your toes. Wear only flats or negative-heel shoes, like Earth shoes (earthfootwear.com), which position the toes a few degrees higher than the heels and help decompress your lower back, Bowman says.
Walking Keep your torso upright, not leaning forward. Let your arms swing naturally, with your shoulders relaxed. Don’t waddle. If your feet “duck out,” steer them forward. If they swell, make sure your shoelaces aren’t too tight; you should be able to fit a finger under them.
The Straight Scoop When you strength-train, stellar posture is a must. Good alignment protects your joints, tendons and ligaments from strain and puts more muscle into play. So keep your weight over your heels and stack your head, shoulders and hips in a straight line.