One of the first things pregnant women are concerned about, after having a healthy baby, is staying fit. According to "The British Journal of Sports Medicine," pregnancy should not be a state of confinement. Pregnant women should continue to engage in physical activity. Of the many reasons to exercise, "Fit Pregnancy" magazine lists less weight gain and an easier labor and delivery as important factors. Consult your doctor before starting any new exercise regimen.
Video of the Day
The Perfect Prenatal Workout: Vol. 1 Sculpting
This is a challenging workout with instructions for an expert or beginner. To do squats, for example, a beginner uses a chair for support, while an advanced exerciser comes all the way down to the floor without any support. A vital feature of this video is 12 minutes of instruction to ensure proper form and avoid injury. Props you'll need include an 8- to 10-inch step-up and light weights. Building strong arms will help you carry your baby, the diaper bag and everything else you'll need. The total workout -- about 45 minutes long -- includes five minutes of warm-up and cool down.
Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga Short Forms
Prenatal yoga can be active and energetic and is well suited for pregnant women, according to "Yoga Journal." This video is a 75-minute practice for those days you feel really energized. The short forms -- 15-, 30- and 45-minute practices -- are perfect for all those other days. The instructor, Jennifer Wolfe, is a prenatal and Vinyasa yoga instructor, and she's a "doula," a trained labor assistant. Per the video instructions, you perform all of the exercises on a yoga mat -- building endurance, learning to relax and coping with stress -- which serves as powerful preparation for giving birth.
10 Minute Solution: Prenatal Pilates
As the name says, this video consists of five 10-minute sessions of Pilates focusing on five areas -- buns and thighs, core, flexibility, total body and standing. You can choose to do all five workouts or just one or two. Lizbeth Garcia, creator of this DVD, says this program will benefit your body during pregnancy and labor by building balance, strength and stamina.
Amira's Belly Dance and Yoga for Pregnancy
Belly dance started centuries ago and is practiced around the globe in countries like Egypt, Morocco and India. According to Natural Pregnancy Midwife, belly dancing such as figure-8 movements, is a great way to get your baby in the best position for birth. This 3.5-hour DVD is packed with information on the origins of belly dance and its benefits for women including strengthening of pelvic and abdominal muscles, relaxation and relieving back pain. Amira, a belly dance artist and a registered nurse, gives 90 minutes of studio instruction, sharing her experience and training throughout.