This is the first pregnancy that I have managed to continue to maintain my active lifestyle. I have been feeling on top of the world. Short of some ligament pains and symphysis pubis dysfunction I really cannot complain.
Many people have asked me why I don’t just take the pregnancy to rest and stay off my feet. Others have asked if I really actually do like to exercise. The truth is… When I stay off my feet I find the nerve pains worsens. And yes… I do really like to exercise! I look at my daily workout as a time to focus on me. Exercising is one of my favourite ways to enjoy me time. It’s a great way to release any pent up tension or stress, but not only that a great way to relax.
Exercising during pregnancy has many benefits:
- It prepares you and your body for labour by strengthening your muscles and teaching you proper breathing techniques, which will in turn help you with pain management. Exercise can certainly help ease labour and delivery.
- Exercise increases your blood flow, which boosts amplifies the healthy glow of your skin.
- It helps relieve common back aliments and pains, and improves your posture.
- It reduces constipation by accelerating movement in your intestine.
- It helps you sleep better at night.
- It helps you bounce back and re-gain your pre-pregnancy body more quickly.
- A recent study shows it can help boost your newborn baby’s brain capacity.
I look at exercising during pregnancy not only as way to put my best foot forward and focus on myself, but also as a way to connect with and show my baby love while she is still in the womb. It is our time together! A time I know that my baby in utero quite enjoys. Often I will feel her kicking away during a moderate cardio routine, a set of labour lunges or plie squats.
One of my go-to prenatal workouts this pregnancy has been Summer Sander’s Prenatal Workout Series by Gaiam. During this series, Summer Sander’s and her personal trainer, Keri, lead you through a series of total body workouts. These workouts focus on improving your posture while also strengthening and improving your overall muscle tone.
The program features custom express (25 minute) or full-length (50 minute) cardio and toning routines tailored to suit each trimester of pregnancy. I’m currently in my 28th week of pregnancy, and quite often find myself cycling between trimester 2 and trimester 3. The sequence I follow generally depends on how my body is feeling overall. It is very important to listen to your body and follow it’s cues, especially during pregnancy. The last thing you want to do during pregnancy is overdo it.
Before you begin any workout series, you will want to ensure that your workout plan is approved by your doctor. You will also want to ensure that you have all the required equipment on hand. For the Summer Sander’s Prenatal Series you will need a resistance band and pillows. If you are in your third trimester, you will also need access to a chair as a lot of the resistance and toning routines are performed while seated.
I quite enjoy the dynamic of this workout series. Summer Sander’s and her personal trainer, Keri, have such a lively bond. You will find yourself always smiling throughout each circuit of the workout. You will also quickly learn to love and grow an appreciation for labour lunges and plie squats. Both moves are common transitioning moves between each resistance and toning circuit. Labour lunges and plie squats open up the pelvis. If you suffer from hip pain or lower back pain, you will also find these moves help alleviate those ailments.
Pregnancy is certainly not a time to jump into any new major exercise programs.
If you are a beginner, I would highly suggest to sticking with Prenatal Yoga for the first little while and as your flexibility, strength, balance and stamina increases. At which point you can slowly ease into the express circuits of the Summer Sander’s DVD. Like I mentioned above, the last thing you want to do during pregnancy is over do it.
Every few days I love to turn to prenatal yoga. Being someone who is certainly a yoga newbie, I have to say I love the flow of Shiva Rea’s Prenatal Yoga DVD. The program has a run time of 50 minutes. The program focuses on helping you feel comfortable, relaxed and fit during pregnancy. I have found that prenatal yoga has helped improve my over all balance. Not only that prenatal yoga is also a good way to build upon your strength and stamina. I have also found the gentle flow of prenatal yoga also helps reduce tension and tightness. If there is ever a day that my back or hips are really bothering me, I pop in Shiva Rea’s DVD.
Prenatal yoga involves a lot of deep breathing and concentration. Both of these techniques will come in very handy during labour and delivery.
Relaxation and the stretching series of both Summer Sander’s and Shiva Rea’s Prenatal Series has been something that I have quite enjoyed. Occasionally I find that I reach such a zen that I could easily just fall asleep by the end of the segment.
I cannot wait to give Shiva Rea’s Postnatal Yoga, and Mama & Baby Baby Yoga Series a whirl in a few months time!
Gaiam also features an informative program entitled “Simple Steps to a Balanced Natural Pregnancy”.
This program has a run time of 65 minutes. This program teaches you how to soothe nagging symptoms, keep aches and pains at bay with gentle exercises, eat for maximum energy and forge a deep connection with yourself and your baby. It provides all the information that you will need to have a balanced, natural pregnancy.
Another great tool that Gaiam offers is the FIT Plan for Pregnancy. The FIT Plan for Pregnancy is a compact 90-Day journal that is perfect to track goals and progress. The guide includes exercise and nutritional information relevant to your personal goals. This journal has certainly helped keep me motivated and accountable through the second trimester of my pregnancy into the third.
I’m an avid lover of Gaiam, and given my love affair with fitness I was thrilled when Gaiam provided me with the opportunity to give away an amazing Gaiam Prenatal and Post-Pregnancy Bundle. This bundle includes:
- Prenatal Yoga DVD
- Summer Sanders Prenatal Workout DVD
- Simple Steps to a Balanced Natural Pregnancy DVD
- Postnatal Yoga DVD
- Shiva Rea’s Mama and Baby Yoga
- Pregnancy Fit Plan Journal
To enter, simply complete the Rafflecopter form below and leave me a comment telling me how you remained healthy and active during your pregnancy.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
* This giveaway is open to Canadian residents only. Giveaway ends at 12AM EST on January 5, 2014.
Disclosure: I received review products from Gaiam. No other compensation was received. All opinions are those of my own.