my favorite at-home pregnancy workouts

As much as eating healthy is a major focus for every woman during pregnancy, for me working out is something that makes me feel just as good. During my pregnancy with Annabelle I was very reluctant to start working out for fear of doing something to harm the pregnancy. I remember taking Juneau {our husky} for a walk one day during my first trimester and being concerned that she was walking too fast and pulling on the leash too much to be considered “safe.” After about 3 minutes I turned right around and went home and called Ken to confess how I put our unborn child in danger. From fast dog walking. I’m hoping all first time moms have had a similar irrational concern at some point? Luckily, as my pregnancy progressed and I moved into my second trimester I started to gain a bit of confidence and finally felt comfortable enough to put a workout routine into place. I worked out 5 days/week throughout my second and third trimesters and when it came time to have Annabelle I had a long labor but a very quick delivery, something Ken attributes to my level of fitness both before and during pregnancy. It’s possible that I just got lucky in the pushing department but I feel like there is definitely a correlation between your level of fitness and having the stamina and strength to get through childbirth. It’s also really helpful to have a foundation for getting back into shape after baby!

When I got pregnant with baby #2 my first trimester was much more debilitating due to constant nausea and fatigue so when I got past 14 weeks or so and started to feel better I couldn’t wait to workout. My absolute favorite prenatal workout DVD from my first pregnancy was Suzanne Bowen’s Slim & Toned Prenatal Barre Workout. There are three different workouts within the DVD that focus on lower body, upper body & core, and cardio. Suzanne is super motivating without being annoying and since each workout is only about 20 minutes long you can choose to do one for the day and be done or combine a couple for a longer, more intense workout. My favorite part of Suzanne’s method is that she constantly reminds you to engage your core and “kegel up”. I’m terrible at remembering to do kegel exercises but they’re super important to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles which help to prepare for childbirth and prevent issues afterwards {like incontinence}. This is the only prenatal DVD I did during my first pregnancy and I never got sick of Suzanne. That’s saying a lot!

Tracy Anderson: The Pregnancy Project is a workout that I’ve incorporated for the first time during this pregnancy. This program is actually 9 separate DVD’s, one for each month of pregnancy. I’m going to be totally honest here – I didn’t start this program until month 4 and I’ve just recently moved on to month 5 but I really like the toning exercises that Tracy does in each of the 30 minute workouts. Each month is specific to what your body is going through at that point in your pregnancy and subsequently what level of effort you should be able to put in to a workout. Most of the workout’s that I’ve done so far have been in a kneeling or tabletop position which is intentional so that you can keep up your speed without having to sacrifice form. Tracy’s also pregnant during the workout so you feel like she’s really in the trenches with you. Her tone is very kind and she’s very sweet and motivating. Plus with a different workout each month you don’t have much time to get bored.

I can’t finish a post about pregnancy workouts without giving a shout out to one of my absolute favorites – walking! I walked at least a couple miles almost every day during my pregnancy with Annabelle. I was fortunate to have an early spring/summer pregnancy which allowed for much more outdoor time than a late fall or winter pregnancy. This time around I’ve been trying to walk as much as possible when I have the opportunity {sometimes I’ll go for a walk around my office building during lunch or at the very least take the stairs instead of the elevator between floors} and it’s something that I’m definitely looking forward to doing more of as the weather starts to get warmer. Walking at a brisk pace always makes me feel great, even if I’m feeling nauseous, tired, over-full, sad, mad, annoyed, etc. It’s also another great way to get outside and burn some calories after your pregnancy. Most newborns love fresh air and being in their stroller and it’s fun taking your new baby on the same route you walked when they were in your belly!

Do you have any favorite pregnancy workouts? I’d love to hear in the comments below! xo

My Favorite At-Home Pregnancy Workouts