When I found out I was expecting in April of 2013 I was shocked. While certainly not planned my husband and I were thrilled to be adding another bundle of joy to our growing family. I had just gotten my body back into tip top shape after having had our first child 11 months prior. I wanted to make sure I kept my body in the best shape possible for the new impending pregnancy and labor. So I started researching different workouts out that would be safe. I wanted to continue my healthy workout routine in the safest way possible. Before I get started I do want to make sure and emphasize the importance of talking to your healthcare professional prior to starting any workout routine. ESPECIALLY if you have had any issues prior or during pregnancy that could put you at high risk for injury.
In my search for the perfect pregnancy workout routine I researched DVD programs, personal trainers, and a variety of classes to fuse together. These are my findings.
If you are looking for a home-based DVD program I recommend:
- Expecting More – Sara Haley’s Daily Sweat Pregnancy Program (Amazon.com) – I purchased this DVD and was pleasantly surprised at the variety of workouts available. There is also a trimester by trimester schedule you can follow. The workout program includes 2 DVD’s with different workouts ranging from dance, strength, core work, and sports drills sets. The great thing about this is options! You will not get bored, you can make it as hard or as easy as needed per your fitness level, and the price is very reasonable at just $39.95 on Amazon.
- Tracy Anderson: The Pregnancy Project (Amazon.com) – I will admit I have not purchased this DVD set, however, when researching I found many consumers giving this 4-5 stars. This program comes with 9 DVDs. You get a new workout for each month you are pregnant. There is also a follow up post workout DVD set available called The Tracy Anderson Method which appeals to many expectant mothers looking to stay fit during pregnancy as well as bounce back into shape post pregnancy.
If you are more of a gym buff looking to get out of the house and combine both cardio and strength training you can look into hiring a personal trainer. There are many personal trainers who focus on just expectant mothers. I looked into personal trainers and was disappointed, however. I didn’t find they worked me at my optimal level of fitness and for the money I felt I could come up with my own cardio and strength training routine. Which I did and will share with you shortly. Being that I am studying to obtain my personal training certificate and that I have been committed to a life of fitness since I was a kid (Yes, my idea of fun when I was about 13 was putting on a leotard, leg warmers, and jamming to a Jane Fonda workout DVD in my living room), I felt I could obtain optimal fitness by combining strength and cardio 5 days/week. Now I know that sounds ambitious, however, 3 of those days are cardio and I combine a few different types of cardio so as to not get bored. I even count cleaning as a workout on one of my cardio days. So you can get creative. You can swim, walk, run (if you have been cleared to do so), spin, dance, etc… Some days I take it easier than others depending on how I am feeling. I ALWAYS listen to my body and pay attention to form when strength training. Here is a workout program I created for myself.
Monday – Off
Tuesday – Cardio 30-45
Wednesday – Strength (Back, Arms)
- Warm up 10 min. on treadmill
- Upper/Middle Back
- Lat Pulldown – 3 sets of 10
- Seated Cable row – 3 sets of 10
- Biceps Curls – 3 sets of 10
- Triceps – 3 sets of 10
Thursday – Cardio 30-45 minutes
Friday – Strength (Chest, lower body)
- warm up 10 min. on treadmill
- Seated Chest Press – 3 sets of 10
- Lower body
- Leg Extension – 3 sets of 10
- Seated Leg Curl – 3 sets of 10
- Inner/outer thigh machine – 3 sets of 10 on each
Saturday – Cardio 30-45 minutes
Sunday – Off
If you are more of a group class kind of gal then by all means continue to go to your group classes. I have seen pregnant women coming out of spinning classes at the gym. Yoga is an amazing workout you can do in a class setting; just be mindful not to over extend/rotate/twist, or continue with inversion poses past your 1st trimester. Another amazing workout which also happens to be extremely fun is Zumba or hip hop classes. These classes are offered all over the place. You can find gyms or stand alone studios offering these classes.
So there you have it. No excuses to get your behind moving and carry out a healthy and fit pregnancy. As mentioned previously always consult your Dr. prior to starting any exercise regimen and listen to your body! Happy sweating!