Best Way to Exercise during Bed Rest

Make sure you get permission from your doctor for doing any stretching and very light exercising while on bed rest. With the above caution in mind, we suggest you do the following stretches and exercises regularly each day. In addition, if you can afford them and it’s okay with your doctor, massages from a massage thera­pist who comes to your home may be helpful to ease sore body parts and for a general sense of well-being.

Staying in Tone, Keeping Muscles in Shape

Plan some part of your day for doing the following exercises. In prepa­ration, follow the recommendations below.

Exercise during Bed Rest Best Way to Exercise during Bed Rest

  •  Have a light meal about an hour before you exercise.
  •  Empty your bladder.
  •  Wear loose clothing.
  •  Keep water nearby.
  •  Choose music you like.
  •  Watch your level of exertion; it should always feel easy, never arduous.
  •  Stop exercising if you feel out of breath, contractions, or any other discomfort.
  •  Experiment with different times of day, to find when you enjoy exercising the most.
  •  Give yourself a massage by gently rubbing, your arms, legs, feet, hands, neck, temples, shoulders, and back to warm the muscles.

Muscle Toning Exercises

  •  Sitting cross-legged, lift your shoulders toward your ears and roll them around to the hack and down to a relaxed-shoulders dropped position. Do a set of eight. (You can increase the num­ber of sets, as you feel able.) These are shoulder rolls.
  •  Sitting cross-legged with your arms relaxed, lift and lower your forearms in sets of eight. These are biceps curls.
  •  Sitting cross-legged, reach overhead as if you’re reaching for a rope dangling from above. Alternate the arm that is reaching for the rope. This is called rope climbing.
  •  Lying on your left side, draw your knees toward your chest to round the lower back while you exhale. When you inhale, relax your knees and let them drop farther away from your chest. These are pelvic rocks.
  •  Lying on your left side, make your body into the shape of a chair. Lift your upper leg without twisting in the hip. Hold a second and lower. Do a set of eight, then repeat the exercise while lying on your right side. These are bent leg lifts.
  •  In any position, consciously tell your body to pull in the muscles around your vulva and vagina. It may feel like you’re trying to hold urine in. Hold a few seconds and release. These are Kegel exercises.
  • Kneeling on all fours, round your back up toward the ceiling like a cat arching its back. Hold for a few seconds and release while exhaling. Do several times.

Stretching Exercises

  •  Sitting cross-legged and facing forward, tilt your head toward your right shoulder and hold for about eight seconds, breathing normally. Repeat on the left side.
  •  In any relaxed position, squeeze you eyes shut and then open them wide. Keep your eyes open and, without moving your head, look to the far right and then slowly to the left. Repeat with wide-open eyes, looking up and then down. Close your eyes and breathe, and rest for a minute.
Exercise during Bed Rest 11 Best Way to Exercise during Bed Rest
  •  Sitting cross-legged, wrap your arms around your shoulders as if giving yourself a hug. Hold for eight seconds and release. Repeat several times.
  •  Lying on your left side with your knees bent, lift your upper leg from beneath the thigh and gently pull your thigh toward your chest. Do not press hard on the baby. Do several repetitions and repeat the exercise while lying on your right side.
  •  Lying on your left side, lift your upper leg a little and flex your toes back toward you. Return your leg to atop the other leg. Do not point your foot, since this may cause cramps. Repeat several times and repeat the exercise while lying on your right side.

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