I love doing exercise DVDs because I don’t have to worry about the weather (it’s been so hot here!) or how sillyI look, or what time of day it is. Being pregnant, I want to make sure I stay active, but that the activity I am doing is safe – these DVDs guide me through fun exercises that have been approved for pregnancy! Here are my favorites so far:
I have casually done belly dancing since high school when a friend of the family started a weekly belly dancing class. I don’t remember when I first learned about the benefits of belly dancing for pregnancy and labor, but it intrigues me. Amira’s DVD is easy enough for someone who has never done belly dance before (or just does it casually) and she also includes information about the history of belly dance for labor and the benefits of the different moves. For example, doing hip circles – also known as moon circles – have been used to help move the baby into the correct position for delivery. The biggest benefit of these moves, however, is that no matter how bloated and tired I am, or how much my body is changing, they make me feel beautiful. I think that’s priceless.
I also casually do yoga, although I don’t attend class very often. I have loved Shiva Rea’s Daily Energy and Yoga Shakti so I had to try this. It is very gentle and not her normal Vinyasa flow, but the stretches feel so good. She also has modifications for each trimester or if you just need extra support. In my 20th week, all of the moves feel safe and comfortable, which is important to me and was not true of the other prenatal yoga DVD I bought.
I love this workout. Patricia Friberg uses an exercise ball and a resistance band to do a workout that I definitely feel, but does not tire me out. Plus, I think exercise is more fun with a ball! (Although you can use a chair if you don’t have one.) She includes a section for pelvic floor work, which is great since I don’t often remember to do it on my own… She also has a bonus section on diastasis recti (abdominal separation that can occur due to fast growth during pregnancy) where she shows you how to check for it and what you can do and shouldn’t do if you have it. Unlike most of the prenatal fitness instructors, she looks more like an average woman – not just a perfect body with a belly – which I appreciate because I believe that healthy pregnant women come in all shapes and sizes.
Both Shiva Rea and Patricia Friberg also have postnatal DVDs that I plan on getting since I love their prenatal ones!
Do you use exercise DVDs? Do you have favorites (prenatal or otherwise)?