woman demonstrating the ankle pump exercise

By Catherine CHUA Bee Hong Senior Principal Physiotherapist, Elizabeth CHAN Jiahui Principal Physiotherapist, KK Women's and Children's Hospital

Exercising during pregnancy comes with many benefits, including promoting muscle strength and endurance to meet the physical demands of pregnancy. It can also help control your blood glucose levels and blood pressure. Please consult your doctor before starting any exercise programmes. Ensure you avoid hot conditions, keep hydrated, and wear comfortable attire while exercising.

If you haven't been exercising regularly before pregnancy, start with an easy 15 minutes of activity a day. Then gradually increase that to 30 minutes a day, five to seven days a week.

Ankle pumps are a good way to relieve leg swelling and are safe to do throughout your pregnancy, and here are the steps for the ankle pumps exercise:​

Begin with elevating your legs — a good way is to lie on the sofa with your legs on the arm rests.

In a long sitting position (to sit straight with your legs stretched out in front of you), bend an ankle upwards, as if you're pulling your toes towards you. Relax that foot and repeat with the other foot. Repeat this exercise 10 times on each foot.

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Read these next:

Sources:

The New Art and Science of Pregnancy and Childbirth 2008, World Scientific

Healthy Start for your Pregnancy 2012, Health Promotion Board Singapore

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