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.

Squats are a great exercise to help strengthen your thighs, buttocks and core muscles. Here are the steps for the squats exercise:

Stand upright with feet shoulder-width apart. Do not lock your knees in extension and raise your arms forward throughout this exercise. Bracing your tummy muscles, gently squat as though you're lowering yourself to sit in a chair. Hold your lowered pose for 5 seconds, and straighten back up to a standing position. Follow the steps to do 10 squats.

Do not hold your breath in this exercise, and make sure your knees do not move forward beyond your toes.

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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