Exclusive for FCC Readers! Two FREE Prenatal Fitness Classes at Stamford Hospital's Health & Fitness Institute April 10 and May 1

Please welcome FCC's latest sponsor, Stamford Hospital's Health and Fitness Institute!

As an FCC reader, you're invited to come to a FREE prenatal fitness class at Stamford Hospital on April 11. The class is taught by Elaine Petrone, author of the Miracle Ball Method books (over a million copies in print), Her method is the opposite of exercise. Where as exercise moves muscles, The Petrone Method adjusts the alignment of your bones as well. This is essential for pregnant women with back pain, sciatic trouble, fatigue, excess stress and sleeplessness. Just mention FairfieldCountyChild.com when you call to register for the class and the $20 fee will be waived.

Read on for some of Elaine's important fitness tips for pregnant women:

Stay flexible: When your body is flexible your stress levels lower, sleep improves and any chronic aching from stress or alignment issues (like low back ache, headaches, neck and shoulder tension, TMJ and more) is relieved. It is a big challenge for pregnant women to stay flexible. A key way to improve flexibility is to understand breathing. Most people are not aware how they way they breathe influences so many things that could greatly improve the look and feel of their body.

Breathing is the single most important thing you can do to improve your flexibility. Without the oxygen your muscles are tight, we are tired achy and most people don’t realize that better breathing burns more calories so your metabolism improves. This is a must for during and after your pregnancy. When muscles are oxygenated they lengthen. The belly will flatten easier after your pregnancy and your posture will improve. You will have much better muscle tone, energy and your stress levels will improve.

Most people think "breathe" and they usually take a deep breath. This won't make all the improvements mentioned above. Most people don’t realize we spend a lot of our days holding our breath. Notice how much you hold your breath during your day.

When you hold your breath you are holding your muscles. It becomes a vicious cycle and most of us never realize it. We try to stretch ,we try to deep breathe, and when we are pregnant most of us are already overwhelmed with so many of the things we need to do. We can be tired, stressed, stiff and uncomfortable.

SO what do we do to improve our breathing? One of the things Elaine teaches  is to “un” work the tension in your muscles. It is the complete opposite of exercise so you will find you are doing very little but relieving a lot of discomforts while re-shaping your body.


Start by making a longer exhalation on the sound of the ssss. This will help to tone your diaphragm so you can bring oxygen into your muscles much easier. As you tone the diaphragm you begin to strengthen the most important muscle in your body.

Exhale on the "ssss" sound. It is a hisssssssssing sound like a snake or the sound of a radiator. You can do it anywhere. You can do it watching television or laying in bed in the morning.

Make your "sssss" sound every day for 5-7 minutes. Take time after each exhalation to observe any changes you feel your body making. Your body will begin to improve on its own. If you notice no changes after the first s sound try it again. Sense what muscles you are using to make the sound. If you are straining your neck or shoulders rest your hands on your belly and feel this area of your body as you exhale. Then the body will automatically inhale.

Then sitting on the edge of a hard wood chair or bench bend forward releasing the back muscles. To do this you must let the buttocks muscles release. This will lengthen the tired low back muscles. Come up from your legs. Then you can repeat the "ssss" sound.

These are what Elaine calls Whole Body Moves. They are like stretching without stretching. You use the weight of your body and let gravity do the work. This will again automatically bring oxygen into your muscles.

Come learn more at a FREE Prenatal Fitness Workshop on Saturday, April 10. The class is FREE to all FCC readers.

Also, mark your calendars for a Prenatal Partners Workshop on May 1. This is for the mom and the significant others in their life. Using the Petrone Method, Elaine can help both Mom and Dad through the stresses of pregnancy. Cost is $25 but mention FairfieldCountyChild.com and attend for free!

To register for both classes, call 203-656-3065 and leave your number or e-mail elaine@elainepetrone.com

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