I stopped running pretty soon after finding out I was pregnant. I know all the advice says ‘If you were doing it before then you can carry on’, and I did for a few weeks…but it just didn’t feel right. I was anxious and not enjoying it and thought I would rather find other ways to exercise safely.
I always intended to swim a lot, but I have a real problem with swimming at this time of year; when it’s cold outside, I really detest getting wet. I know it’ll be warm at the pool and I know I can dry my hair before going out in the cold, but something about it really puts me off.
And the third of my triathlon activities – cycling – is out too, as my bump would make the position on my road bike pretty much impossible. I’m carrying the baby quite low (I think) and leaning forward is really uncomfortable.
So I needed something that I could do in the warm, that wouldn’t stress me out worrying about harming the baby – and that was comfortable.
I invested in a few DVDs just before Christmas and have so far done two of them several times. The only reason I haven’t done the third is because it’s a longer workout and I just haven’t found the time.
So the first one I’ll review is 10 Minute Solutions – Prenatal Pilates. I bought this because on the days when I’m at school and don’t have much time or the facilities to exercise, I thought it would be good to be able to do a quick 10 minute routine in my room. I also figured that as I share a flat when I’m here, it would be good to have a pilates workout that should hopefully be quite static and not involve too much crashing around!
So far I have really liked it. I’ve mostly done the standing workout, which involves variations on squats and lunges. I had to go and buy some small dumbbells, as I wanted to do it properly – particularly if it only lasted 10 minutes. It isn’t tiring, as it’s pretty short, but it always feels good to have done it, and I’m definitely feeling my leg strength improving.
This evening, as I had a bit more time, I also did the Total Body Pilates section, which I hadn’t done before. This was great – again, you need a yoga mat and dumbbells, as a lot of it is on your hands and knees. I really felt this one working though, which was quite satisfying. I haven’t done the other sections yet, and to be honest, I doubt if I will do the ‘Core’ section, as I don’t really like doing core exercises while pregnant. I don’t know why, but I just find it uncomfortable and it doesn’t feel like the right thing to be doing. I’m sure it’s fine, but I personally don’t like it.
So all in all I’m really pleased – the workouts are in manageable little chunks and I guess you could put the whole lot together or do different combinations at different times, which is a real plus for me – I find I get quite bored of workout DVDs rather quickly.
The second one I’ve been doing is Suzanne Bowen’s Pregnancy Workout – Lean and Toned. This is the one I’ve been doing at home and I really like it. I’ve been doing the main 20 minute section – leaving out the core section again. I wasn’t expecting it to be so hard! I consider myself a fairly fit person, and I found this a pleasantly challenging and enjoyable workout. There’s no cardio in it, but some hardcore squats that left me really feeling my quads and glutes the next day – which is exactly what I was after!
I did have a go at the core section, but found the press ups really unpleasant and they made my bump feel uncomfortable. So I left it. I do think the main workout is good enough on its own. You aren’t going to be dripping with sweat at the end, but I was in ¾ length leggings and a t-shirt and I definitely had a healthy sheen going on and it raised my pulse and got me going.
If I had to choose between the two DVDs, I’d say I prefer the Suzanne Bowen one, simply because I feel more of a burn when I’m doing it and that’s pretty important to me. That said, it’s working really well doing both, as the Pilates one works your upper body with the weights a bit more. So I’d get both!
The DVD that I have yet to try (and that might not get tried for a while as we’re moving house this weekend *panic*) is Erin O’Brien’s Complete Pregnancy Fitness. I like the look of this one, as it has a specific cardio section and this is what I’m really missing. At the moment, all the cardio I do really is walking (marching) the dog. It’s great and I love it – but it doesn’t really replace running in terms of how it makes my body feel.
I’ll let you know how I get on with that one. Did you or are you keeping fit during pregnancy? I’d love to know how.
I just wanted to add that I bought these DVDs and this post was in no way sponsored or requested – I just thought it might be helpful for others thinking of getting a pregnancy fitness DVD.