It is winter which means we have little to no desire to leave the house. Who wants to suffer the cold when you don't have to. It's the perfect time for at home workouts. But what if you have exhausted your DVD collection and are bored with the same old workouts? This happens to me every so often. While I love my favorite trainers (read: Jillian Michaels and Chalene Johnson) sometimes I need to switch it up. It is at these times that I look to free online workouts to give some variety o my workouts and change things up. The following are my top 5 resources for free online workouts.
I'm going to be honest here. I'd like to say that I have been working out throughout my pregnancy and I am the perfect model of health and wellness. I did start out strong, working out about 5 times a week throughout the first and start of the second trimester. Then December came. With finals week for grad school and the Christmas show hell week, something had to give. That something was working out.
At the time, I could feel the difference in my body, but I chalked it up to the hectic schedule I was attempting to maintain. I was exhausted and lacked my usual energy. I could not get myself up for a 6 am workout and the rest of my day was packed. When Christmas week came, it was time to jump back in the saddle. After that first workout, I felt 100 times better. I had energy for the day and my body felt good being used and challenged. Even my mind felt sharper and ready for the challenges of the day. Here are some tips to help you with your pregnancy workouts.
- Choose workouts that involve a lot of stretching, like yoga. Stretching can really help with pregnancy aches and pains and tightness. A good workout will stretch out your back and hips easing a lot of the tension there. If this doesn't motivate you to do the workout knowing how much better you will feel after, I don't know what will.
- Think about your post-pregnancy body. Getting back into fitness after a baby is hard. Working out throughout your pregnancy however makes it a lot easier.
- These workouts should not be super intense, high energy workouts. You don't want your heart rate to exceed 140 BPM. Light cardio and moderate weights depending on your activity level prior to pregnancy is awesome.
- Don't think of it as work or an obligation. As I said with the yoga, your mind set should be relieving pain and tension. For cardio, you can have a dance party with your kids or play my son's favorite game, "You can't get me" where I chase him around the dining room table. Go for a walk with your baby in the stroller. Anything that gets you moving.
- Remember to also lift some weights a few times a week. Your baby may pop out at 7 lbs., but that baby is going to grow fast. You want to be prepared for carrying that baby around. This is another fantastic motivator.
You don't need to go to the gym to get a workout in. In fact, there are tons of pregnancy workout DVDs that you can use. With winter weather finally here, you will not find me getting my bottom outside in the early morning to get a gym workout. I use several different DVDs, and sometimes do my own workouts depending on where I am feeling tension. Some DVDs I use are the Yoga Booty Ballet: Baby on the way DVD, and the Summer Sanders' Prenatal Workout DVD. I also use the regular Yoga Booty Ballet DVDs for Cardio. I don't find the cardio overwhelming for my pregnant self and I just leave out the exercises that require laying on your belly. While I love Jillian Michaels, she can be saved for your post-baby workouts. Those DVDs are a bit too heart pumping for the typical pregnant woman. There are so many DVDs to choose from, you can definitely find one that fits your needs. Here you can find a ton of prenatal workout DVDs: Prenatal Workout DVDs. Note if you make a purchase using this link, I will make a small commission off of your purchase.
If you need the accountability that a gym class can provide., you can set up a text group with your friends where you have to check in when you completed a workout. Each day you check in when you completed a workout and everyone gets held accountable. They don't need to be pregnant for this to work! You can also set up a workout schedule for yourself if that works for you. Or we can create a Facebook group where we check in after a workout to keep ourselves accountable.
Just remember, loosing weight is not the only reason to workout! You will feel better, relieve tension in your muscles, and clear your mind. Many times starting your day with a workout will give you the energy to get more done during your day! (And when you're pregnant, you need as much energy as you can get!!)
Here's to a fit pregnancy in 2016!!
I love working out with DVDs. It's fun to have company while you workout and the hosts can be very motivating, especially when you are getting tired. Sometimes, however, I want to kill 2 birds with one stone when I work out. Maybe catch up on a TV show or listen to a podcast. This is not so easy when using a workout DVD. So, I came up with a set of workouts that includes weights and cardio and doesn't require a DVD. The whole workout gets done in about 30 minutes. All you need is 3 sets of weights and a clock. I use the cable box as my clock.
First, I pick an area of the body to focus on: legs, or back and chest, or shoulders, or biceps and triceps, etc.
Then I pick out 7-8 exercises that I will do to work out this area of the body. So for biceps and triceps I might do: bicep curls, tricep dips, hammer curls, tricep kick backs, reverse curls, overhead tricep extension right, overhead tricep extension left and isolation curls. For shoulders, I might do: shoulder press, side raise right, side raise left, front raise, bent over fly, upright row, and arnold dumbbell press.
Here's how I set up my workout. The first 2 minutes I warm up by jogging in place. Then I grab my light weights and do 12 reps of the first exercise. As soon as I'm done I finish out the minute with either jogging or jumping jacks or quick jump rope type hops. When that minute ends I grab the medium weights and do the same exercise for 10 reps. I again finish out the minute with cardio. At the next minute, I grab the heavy weights for 8 reps. Again I finish out the minute with cardio. I repeat this process with all 7-8 exercises. This should bring you to about 23-26 minutes depending on if you are doing 7 or 8 exercises. To round out the 30 minutes, I always end with abs. In this case I will do say 20 crunches, or 12 lying leg raises, or a 30 second plank and then again finish out each minute with cardio. At the very end I will do a stretch and I'm done. The stretch I do depends on the area I was concentrating on for the day.
Once you've done this workout a few times, you kind of get the hang of it and you can actually enjoy your show or podcast while you workout! If you don't have 3 sets of weights, no problem. Just do 10 reps with the same weights for all 3 sets of each exercise. Don't worry about the specific order, just keep in mind the area you are focusing on and do the next exercise that comes to mind. For days where I am working 2 muscle groups, like biceps and triceps or chest and back, I like to alternate between the body parts. So after 3 sets of bicep curls, I might do 3 sets of tricep dips and then switch back to biceps. That way I don't over tire the muscle.
Try this out and let me know what you think. Need ideas for which exercises to do? Drop me a note in the comments!