photo: Courtesy of Complete Pregnancy Fitness with Erin O'Brien
When I found out I was pregnant, the first thing I did was nothing. As in get back into bed with a pint of ice-cream and give myself a nine-month break from the gym. Unfortunately, my doctor disagreed with my self-imposed bed rest. Apparently, working out while pregnant is actually good for you—as long as you don't overdo it. And that's why classes were specifically designed for pregnant women. They make sure you are getting a great workout while taking care of your body and your baby. So get out of bed and hit the gym for these cute courses.
Prenatal belly dancing at Bloom Yoga Studio
Apparently, having a belly actually helps with belly dancing—shocker, right? And since you've finally grown a huge bump, you should look like a pro here. Plus, the moves you learn will help you during labor, and you can even belly dance in the hospital to help you through those tough times; word on the street is that it makes the pain a little more manageable. The class is taught by a trained doula, who is a founding member of the Northeastern Illinois Doulas Association, so you may learn even more than belly dancing here.
Prenatal aerobics at Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Apparently, hospitals do way more than fixing the problem at hand. Northwestern is putting a huge emphasis on preventative care, and for pregnant ladies, that means getting your heart rates up. They offer a low-impact aerobics class which fuses Tae Kwon Do, Tai Chi, yoga and dance in order to build your stamina and get you ready for labor. Start this class early enough in your pregnancy, and you just may be strong enough to go drug free during the actual event. Plus, you're already in the hospital, so third trimesters need not worry about the possibility of the workout putting them into labor.
Water aerobics at Equinox (Gold Coast)
The best thing about getting into a pool is that amazing feeling of weightlessness. It's the one time pregnant women can free themselves of that humungous weight hanging off them. And, it's still an amazing workout. Equinox offers a range of water aerobics classes that they change routinely, which currently range from water ballet to body surfing (don't worry; you never actually get on a surfboard). When I took a class, I was surrounded by baby bumps, so don't worry about sporting that huge belly; you'll be in good company.
Prenatal yoga at YogaNow
Being pregnant is stressful. You're worried about your body and your baby constantly, and to add insult to injury, it's near impossible to get a good night's sleep. But yoga can really help. The stretching involved eases the pains of joint and muscle aches, and you’ll help your body to relax and strengthen. If you take the classes regularly, you may not even look pregnant from behind anymore. At YogaNow, no prior yoga knowledge of yoga is needed.
Prenatal Fitness Fix with Erin O'Brien DVD
Some days, simply getting out of the house is too difficult when you're knocked up. That's when Erin kicks in. Her DVDs are so much fun because she doesn't take herself too seriously—and even runs out for bathroom breaks. But her workouts really work. They're hard, and you'll actually break a sweat. It's a 40-minute workout which combines Pilates, Kegels, conditioning and a short partner workout. Do this every day and you'll be back to your pre-pregnancy jeans by the time you walk out of the hospital.