Break a sweat with P&N!
New mamas and moms-to-be review the latest fitness gear and programs.
Program:Expecting More-Sara Haley's Daily Sweat Pregnancy Program
Fitness level:Intermediate to advanced
Reviewed by:Soon-to-be mom of two, marathon runner and P&N reader, Margot Keany.
I have always been a runner, and aside from sub-par balance and a pair of weak T-Rex arms, I feel like I’m in pretty good shape. Before my son was born, I ran two marathons, and I completed a half marathon with a new personal record when he was seven months old, shortly before becoming pregnant again. My 12-month-old son keeps me pretty active in addition to running, and when I received this DVD in the mail right at the 12-week mark of my second pregnancy, I figured that it would be another one of those “get in touch with your feelings because pregnant women are delicate and can’t be made to sweat” DVDs. Boy, was I wrong.
The front of the DVD case looks modern and only slightly cheesy, and I was grateful the host was not pictured in a one-piece, high-cut maternity leotard. We were already off to a good start. I appreciate how there are six different workouts, and that a calendar for scheduling those workouts is provided. That brings me, however, to the calendar. At first glance, the calendar looks like a close relative of a Sudoku puzzle, with each of the exercises shortened to a two- or three-letter code. Combine it with trying to actually figure out which exercise is what, then plug those onto a real calendar, and you get something that is really confusing. After making a mess of my calendar (I should have used a pencil), I finally got it under control.
After getting past the calendar, the workouts themselves are comprehensive and very fast-paced. The six different programs are Synergy, Sweat Sport, Sweat Funk, Sweat Strong Down, Sweat Strong Up, and Salutations.The format is designed for you to do one workout per day during the week and take the weekend days off. With my son’s erratic nap schedule, my job, and my pregnancy fatigue, I was not able to stick to the schedule, but I did make it through each of the workouts at least once. The most low key workout is Salutations, which is just as fast-paced and rigorous as the rest, but with a little more stretching. The more aerobic workouts have both a warm up and a cool down. The cool down is usually more introspective than the workouts, giving the mama a chance to think about and connect to the new baby. Given my busy schedule and my preoccupation with my son, I really appreciate the shift in focus to the new baby.
This DVD is NOT for beginner exercisers. For my fitness level, the amount of activity is perfect, but I could definitely see how someone who did not exercise as much before pregnancy would have a hard time with this DVD. That being said, all of the workouts highlight safety for mama and baby, providing alternate ways to do exercises depending on how you’re feeling. I really appreciate the humor in the workouts, my favorite move so far is called “Don’t Touch My Baby.” Sara, the host, tries to make the mama feel fun and sexy, and provides helpful safety tips. She also offers ways to “bump up” the workout if you’re having a good day.
I don’t know if it can be attributed to these workouts, but I have noticed that my energy level has gone up, and I do feel like I am doing better with my posture during the day. With each workout, I still feel like I am getting stronger, and know that continuing these workouts through the pregnancy would really help to maintain my fitness level. As it is summer here in New Jersey, I am not as comfortable going out for a run in the heat, so I really appreciate being able to exercise indoors in the air conditioning.
There are far more pros than cons in this DVD. The only negative is that I have not been able to keep up with the difficult-to-decipher schedule. However, the benefit of having each of the workouts accessible is that you can pick your favorite and do whichever one you want. Because there are so many options, I don’t see myself getting bored like I would with just one workout that I see over and over again. In this mama’s opinion, it is totally worth it if you are starting out with a high fitness level and you want to maintain it throughout your pregnancy.
Expecting More-Sara Haley's Daily Sweat Pregnancy Program is available atAmazon.comfor $39.95. Not insignificantly, it has 22 reviews and has been rated 5 out of 5 stars, the best rating possible.
Disclaimer: Please consult your health care provider before beginning any exercise program.