Making Time For Working Out
I work full time, very long hours -- and I don't ever have time to make it to a gym. Do you have some keep fit tips for the time-deprived? I'm really looking for a few things I can fit into my workday. Thanks! - Monique in Santa Clara, California
The expert answers
There are several effective exercises you can do during your workday to stay in shape throughout your pregnancy.
For starters, try taking the stairs instead of the elevator at every opportunity. You'll get a quick cardio workout, strengthen the muscles in your lower body, and save energy in your office building all at the same time! While you're on hold on the phone, try holding onto the edge of your desk with your free hand while you do front, side, and back leg raises. Do 8-12 repetitions in each direction on each leg.
For your upper body, stand facing your desk or a wall and place your hands on the desk or wall shoulder width apart. Inhale as your bend your elbows to lower your nose toward the wall; exhale as you push away from the wall by squeezing the muscles in your chest. Try changing your hand position to work different muscles in your arms, chest, and back. For your abdominals, try hugging around your baby with your stomach muscles as you exhale (visualize pulling your belly button in toward your backbone), hold the muscles tight for a slow count of 4, and then inhale as you release.
You can always do pelvic floor, or Kegel, exercises while you sit at your desk to strengthen those muscles and help prevent urinary incontinence. By doing short bursts of exercise throughout the day, you'll stay in great shape and boost your energy level, too!