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Author Topic: Bed Exercises...safe or not?  (Read 5194 times)

LoransMommy

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Bed Exercises...safe or not?
« on: February 16, 2011 at 06:52 PM »
Ok so every time I look at my legs I get grossed out. They have totally lost all muscle tone due to inactivity and it looks like my skin is just hanging. I have done pilates twice a week for 7 years and stopped because of bed rest, so I used to have very good muscle tone. I know I will get it back, but I wondered if it might be ok to do some non-strenuous leg exercises in bed? Like where you lay on your side and lift your leg? I meant to ask the doctor today, but forgot (surprise, surprise) and will try to remember next week. I won't do them without doctor ok, but I was Just curious about your opinions...
Put on bed rest at 25 weeks on January 19th with cervix measuring 2.8.
Expecting our first - baby boy Loran Lee Morgan III on May 5th.
Getting induced at 39 weeks + 1 day on Wednesday, April 27th because of preeclampsia.

ML2011

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Re: Bed Exercises...safe or not?
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2011 at 04:04 PM »
I am on hospital bedrest and had the same question.  I have been able to do arm exercises with a band, but when I asked about leg exercises my doc advised no in my case. I am having contractions and they worry about my cervix length changing.  He said he wanted to avoid any pressure on my cervix and leg exercises could cause pressure.  Boy will I be motivated to workout after all of this!

Aylw88

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Re: Bed Exercises...safe or not?
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2011 at 04:40 PM »
The only exercise I was told was to rotate the legs left & right while lying down & to flex them every so often..I'm so weak, I can barely walk & this is only 4 wks of bed rest sigh

DFTLEE

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Re: Bed Exercises...safe or not?
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2011 at 09:24 AM »
Hi All,
I know that exercise during bed rest is extremely controversial, but it can be done. As would be expected, exercise has to be modified to suit the needs of mamas on bed rest. Unfortunately, most hospital staff has no idea what to do for women on bed rest so they simply say to do nothing. Sometimes a physical therapist may recommend an exercise or two, but by and large, nothing is prescribed which is sad.

When exercising on bed rest, the key is to do passive and/or non-weight bearing movements. Arm exercises are generally good because they don't illicit much action from the abs. I recommend that my clients use the lightest exercise band that they can find do arm curls, light flies, etc... Legs can be a bit trickier, but again, when done passively/assisted, you can work the muscles without much of any pull on the abs.

I have examples of leg exercises that can be done on bed rest and it is included in what I call the Bedrest Success Kit. It's what people get when they sign up for my newsletter. It's totally free and gives you instructions on how to do exercises, especially lower body exercises, while on bed rest. Start with those and by all means, if you have other questions, feel free to contact me.

Thanks for including me in the discussion, Angela!!

Darline Turner-Lee, PA-C, ACSM Exercise Specialist and Perinatal Fitness Instructor
Owner, Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond
www.mamasonbedrest.com



LoransMommy

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Re: Bed Exercises...safe or not?
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2011 at 01:56 PM »
Thanks for all the information!
Put on bed rest at 25 weeks on January 19th with cervix measuring 2.8.
Expecting our first - baby boy Loran Lee Morgan III on May 5th.
Getting induced at 39 weeks + 1 day on Wednesday, April 27th because of preeclampsia.

stayinthere

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Re: Bed Exercises...safe or not?
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2011 at 12:03 AM »
I am a physical therapist and when I worked in a hospital setting we would get doctors referrals for most if not all bedrest mommas to teach bed rest exercises. The doctor referral part is probably the most important part however since they know your condition and history.
With that said; It sounds like the post above had a handout, which is better than this post, but I thought I would write what we prescribed in case there was anything different.
 We typically prescribed leg exercises because you arms are generally still doing something, but arm exercises are OK too. While lying down,
1)taking your straight leg out to the side and back in (like making a snow angel with only your legs),
2)bending knees up from straight position (dragging heel up the bed and back down to straight leg position),
3) With bent knees dig heel into bed for 10 second holds for hamstring strengthening,
*4)ankle pumps,
5)glut (bum) squeezes,
*7)tightening the muscles around your knees for 10 seconds and releasing (quad sets), - like you are trying to straighten your leg as much as possible.Your heel will probably raise off of  the bed.
6)Pillow squeezes; place a pillow between bent knees and squeeze for 10 seconds,
*7)Kegel/Pelvic floor squeezes - each of these were generally done for 3 sets of 10.
* I starred the ones I wouldn't skip unless you have any of the following.

Any increase in abdominal pressure, discomfort, pain etc and we would advise to skip the exercise or do fewer to avoid taxing the body. Even though we didn't prescribe sidelying leg lifts or another exercise some people call clamshells (sidelying with bent knees and ankles together) - lift knee up to separate legs, they would also be appropriate.  If you are on modified bedrest and your practicioner OKs getting on all fours (quadriped position) you can also do pelvic tilts and alternating arm or leg lifts for back strengthening.  Pelvic tilts can be a lifesaver for low back pain in any position.  Arm exercises are generally safe as well and you can purchase resistance bands or tubing to get a little more of workout. The bands can be attached to a bed post to be able to do more exercises as well.

Hope this helps