Experts are realizing the importance of exercise during pregnancy as evidenced by the multitude of prenatal fitness DVDs available on the market. But if you're a woman confined to bedrest, what can you do? Darline Turner-Lee comes to the rescue with her Bedrest Fitness DVD.
Women who are prescribed bedrest are at risk for blood clots and will experience a loss of muscle tone and strength. In just a matter of days, she may weaker and unsteady when she stands up to use the bathroom or shower. This loss of strength can also affect her labor and make her less able to care for herself and her new baby after birth.
Medical caregivers are becoming more and more aware of these potential complications as a result of bedrest, and physical therapists are often asked to help women confined to hospital bedrest. Now, thanks to Darline Turner-Lee, these same exercises are available on DVD so any bedresting mom can do them from the comfort of her home, provided she has her doctor or midwife's permission.
The DVD begins with obstetrician Karen Swensen, MD discussing bedrest and how doing Bedrest Fitness, provided mom has her doctor's/midwife's approval, on a daily basis can prevent the side effects of bedrest.
The workout is designed and performed by Darline Turner-Lee, a physician's assistant and exercise specialist, who is nearly 32 weeks pregnant. Ms Turner-Lee is very personable and encouraging-the kind of woman you'd love to meet in person and share a cup of your favorite beverage with while chatting about your pregnancies. Throughout the workout, she reminds you to take breaks when needed and to drink lots of water to stay hydrated. She also gives great form pointers as well as safety tips including which exercises may not be appropriate if you're on very strict bedrest.
The only equipment you need for this workout is a ton of pillows to be comfortable, your bed, and a resistance band which comes with the DVD.
The workout runs about 47 minutes (which includes a lovely 9 minute cool down and stretch) and includes the following exercises:
- Leg abduction
- Leg extensions
- Hamstring curls
- Calf muscles
- Modified crunches
- Cat stretches
- Latissimus pull downs
- Modified flies
- Seated rows
- Bicep curls
- Serve the platter
- Triceps extensions
- Shoulder extensions
These exercises are easy to do but very effective and the workout follows the guidelines determined by the American College and Obstetricians for exercise during pregnancy.
The DVD includes two versions of the workout - version l with instructions and version ll with just music. The DVD is also chaptered so it is easy to skip exercises your caregivers may not want you to do or if you don't feel like doing something on a certain day but still wish to workout.
According to Turner-Lee, women who regularly perform the exercises while on bedrest can expect the following health benefits:
- Maintenance of muscle tone and physical strength
- Improved circulation
- Reduction in the risk of leg clots leading to strokes, heart attacks and pulmonary embolisms
- Increased endurance during labor
- More effective pushes during delivery
- Decreased recovery time post partum
- The emotional assurance that she is doing something great for herself and her baby
Click here to see a video clip from the workout. The DVD is available through Next Step Fitness for $29.00 and is well worth the cost. As a veteran bedrester myself, I'm so thrilled to see this workout! I HIGHLY recommend it for all women (with their caregiver's approval) who are prescribed bedrest. I know from experience that after just a few days of bedrest, I was wobbly and weak when I got up to use the bathroom. A fall could have been disastrous. By doing Bedrest Fitness, I wouldn't have experienced such a drop in my strength and endurance, and I'm sure it wouldn't taken me so long to get back on my feet after my babies were born.
If you are on bedrest or know a woman who is, buying Bedrest Fitness can help her have a healthier pregnancy, easier birth, and a quicker recovery.
Next Step Fitness
PO Box 151797
Austin, TX 78715
About the Author:
Darline Turner-Lee, is a physician assistant and exercise specialist who is passionate about women's health and fitness. As the founder and principle of Next Step Fitness, Inc., she strives to raise awareness about the myriad of healthcare options available, conventional as well as alternative, and to encourage women to be more proactive in their personal healthcare. She educates women about the role diet and nutrition, physical fitness and healthy lifestyles have on overall health via individual consultations and fitness training, workshops and seminars and by publishing healthcare columns, essays and educational materials.