The No-Gym-Needed Workout
The workout that takes just 30 minutes three times a week, plus tips on great pregnancy exercises
For new and expectant moms, getting to the gym can seem like more trouble than it's worth. The following total body workout, created by Krystin Carpenter, a certified personal trainer at The Sports Club/LA at Rockefeller Center in New York City, can be performed at home -- or anywhere -- in 30 minutes. Do it every other day to maintain your strength during pregnancy or get your body back in pre-baby shape. "Keep your comfort level in mind and stop if anything feels painful," says Gwen Hyatt, a spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise in San Diego, California. "And always talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program."
* Warm up: Get your heart rate up by walking (walk in place if you're indoors) for five to ten minutes. Swing your arms and lift your knees high to increase blood flow to your muscles, which will prevent injury. Then, start with one set of repetitions of the following moves, and work up to three sets.
* Standing lunge (hips, buttocks, legs): Stand with feet hip-width apart and pull your navel in towards your spine, which will tuck your pelvis in to support your lower back. With hands on hips, inhale and take a big step forward with your right foot. Slowly lower your body towards the floor until your right thigh is parallel to the floor. Make sure your right knee is aligned over your ankle to protect your joints. Exhale as you push off of your right heel, returning to start. Do 10 to 15 repetitions, then repeat with left leg. If you're pregnant, do this exercise near a wall for support so you don't lose your balance. (If you still feel wobbly, skip this exercise.)