Finding the Perfect Pregnancy Workout
I’m now 21 weeks along in my pregnancy and already moving around awkwardly as my belly stretches to heretofore unheard of proportions—and I’m loving every minute of it. With that said, I’m determined to stay in shape and not become a sedentary couch potato (even though my worthless swamp cooler beckons me to nap each afternoon).
But where can a girl find a reputable pregnancy-friendly workout? If you’re like me, sharing a car and saving money means skipping the fee-based workout classes. One option is the Internet: What can’t you find there?
Search “pregnancy workout,” and you’ll find that not a lot comes up. YouTube has a shit ton of workout videos, but very few are actually designed for the preg-letic set (pregnant + athletic…Ha! I’m hilarious.). The bulk of the videos you’ll find are typically 5-minute demos designed to lure you to a fee-based website.
One freebie workout on YouTube was designed by a male trainer for his pregnant wife, and although he claims to have done “a lot of research” to ensure he doesn’t harm his wife or his unborn child, I quit midway through for two reasons: (1) Boredom. Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you’re limited to two dance steps, ya know? (2) Danger, Will Robinson! When I fast forwarded to see if the video ever becomes less monotonous, I discovered a portion of the workout in which he had his pregnant wife lie on her back for extended periods of time—a big no-no once you’ve reached the second trimester. So I can’t recommend that particular video.
I did, however, find one 11-minute video that, while not the best workout I’ve ever done, is the best free workout I could find on YouTube. You can watch it here and decide for yourself.
Another option is to purchase a DVD. While it’s not free, it’s certainly cheaper than attending classes. I highly recommend Pregnancy Fitness: Safe Exercises for an Enjoyable Pregnancy. It’s a 4-DVD set led by the irresistibly cheerful Lindsay Brin. The first DVD is for both pre-pregnancy and the first trimester and is 35 minutes long. If you think Lindsay’s going to go easy on you just because you’re with child, forgeddaboudit. I was surprised at how challenging it was, but then again, I was nauseated and exhausted throughout much of my first trimester, so…
The second DVD is, of course, for the second trimester and is the one I’m currently using. It’s 40 minutes long, and while it still gives you a good cardio workout, I found it much more enjoyable than the first DVD. The only complaint I have is that Lindsay refers to an elusive yoga portion of the workout that I can’t seem to find! It’s not included on the first two DVDs, so I’m hoping it’s on one of the remaining two.
The third DVD is for the third trimester, is 35 minutes long, and is designed to prepare your “body and mind for delivery.” The fourth and final DVD is entitled “Postnatal Bootcamp” and features the instructor in fatigues, a sports bra, and an envious six pack. This DVD is 124 minutes long because it actually consists of several different workouts. I love this concept because it means you can get a lot of use out of the DVD without becoming bored, which is a key factor in staying motivated enough to workout consistently.
Any other preggo-friendly workout tips out there?