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.

Exercising with the gym ball can help to strengthen the core muscles needed to maintain good posture during pregnancy. This can eventually help to minimise backache during pregnancy.

Here are the steps for the gymball alternate leg raise exercise:

For this exercise you would have to sit upright on a gym ball, do pick the right size so that your foot can easily rest flat on the floor and that your knee is not bent too much (best to have your knees at 90 degrees). Check that your body is straight and your lap is at a right angle to it.

Placing your feet shoulder-width apart, tighten your tummy muscles and gently raise one foot to straighten the leg. Doing this whilst balancing on the ball is tricky, so take your time to straighten one leg and hold for 5 seconds. Slowly lower that leg and repeat the steps with the other leg.

Avoid holding your breath throughout the exercise, and repeat it 10 times on each leg.

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Read these next:


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

Healthy Start for your Pregnancy 2012, Health Promotion Board Singapore​​