Thursday, June 23, 2011

Work It

A common fear among pregnant ladies is gaining too much weight throughout the pregnancy. I definitely have that fear. I gained a little bit of non-baby weight on the front end of things, mostly because I started to eat carbs like a normal person (I've been carb-conscious(ish) since the wedding) and because I reduced my exercise routine to simply riding my bike to school and taking Gus on long walks. It was all I could muster in those first few weeks, when I required a minimum of 2 naps throughout the day. Because of this less-than-welcome weight gain in the first trimester, I've tried to be extra active in the second trimester. Since my local pool opened, I've been swimming a few times a week, but the bulk of my regimen consists of home workout videos. I'm usually a gym person but these days it's hard to get in the car or on my bike and ride anywhere to work out in this New Orleans heat. I have the perfect workout space for one person in my living room, and it doesn't hurt that the window unit basically blows right on me as I work out in front of my tv. About three times a week I do Lindsay Brin's Moms Into Fitness cardio and toning routine. I felt lukewarm towards this workout at first, but it's really grown on me. Lindsay smiles way too much for a normal human but I guess that's what it takes to star in these videos, right? Her explanation for tightening the brow muscles (?) and eliminating "sway back" leaves something to be desired, but I guess nothing is as good as a face to face contact in an actual gym, so I can't complain that much. I like how this workout alternates cardio (light stepwork) and toning (push-ups, weights that you can vary). There's stretching at the very end, plus modifications throughout in case you're feeling tired or fat on certain days. I think another version comes with a yoga video, but since I got my copy from Target as a set (all three trimesters + postnatal bootcamp), the cardio and toning segment is all I have. According to Lindsay, it's ideal to do this days 1, 3, and 5 and do yoga in between on days 2 and 4 with a break on the weekends. Instead of the yoga section, I do Suzanne Bowen's Long and Lean Prenatal Workout on my alternate days. I love this workout. It's a bit easier to follow than Lindsay Brin's, but I wouldn't consider it less challenging. My favorite section is the standing work. It's just challenging enough, and I suppose when it gets too easy, you can add 2 lb weights or something. I love that this video promotes balance, which is important to maintain throughout pregnancy. I found the floor work pretty difficult at first, probably because I don't do yoga and my wrists aren't very strong. Both sections are 20 minutes long, and there's a short stretching portion in the end. I have been bad and often just do one section, but when I'm not in a hurry and feel up for it, I do both.
I find that these workouts provide a nice mix. Sometimes I replace a workout with laps at the pool, so I think I'm doing a good job at not getting bored and restless. Once I'm in the third trimester I will switch to a different Lindsey Brin workout, and I'll report on that when the time comes. I'm considering getting Summer Sanders' prenatal workout video. If anyone out there has tried it, let me know. I think you need a resistance band and a chair for that one, which is a turn-off for me right off the bat. For right now, I'm satisfied with my routine. But am open to any and all tips from any ladies, pregnant or not.

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