DVD Review: Bedrest Fitness

Bedrest Fitness is an exercise DVD by Darline Turner-Lee, a Physician Assistant and ACSM Exercise Specialist in Austin, TX who specializes in women's health.

I've never been on bedrest, so I can only imagine how frightening, boring, enervating, and disempowering it must be for a pregnant woman. Worrying about the baby constantly, and being stuck in one place and unable to do all your normal things must be just hideous. Then add in the fact that you know your body is weakening because you can't move your muscles like you usually do. How are you supposed to recover from birth and take care of your new baby if you don't have good muscle tone?

That's the problem that Darline addresses with this workout DVD.

The DVD overall is just lovely. Even the menu screen is soothing. Darline has a calming, reassuring manner and explains every exercise as she goes through it. She points out a few moves that may not be safe for women on the strictest bedrest so they can avoid them, while women who can move around a little more can do the entire sequence. She works on arms and shoulder, legs, back, and core, using an exercise band to provide resistance.

My favorite part about the DVD is that Darline is a real woman. She's not a perky exercise instructor. She's big and pregnant in the video, and when she scoots around on the bed to get into position for the next exercise you recognize the effort it's taking her to haul another person with her.

The pace is gentle and easy. I think real type As would get impatient with the pace, but for women stuck in bed anyway, the pace makes sure they're not overexerting or doing anything they shouldn't be doing.

I'm so thankful someone's done an exercise video for women on bedrest during pregnancy, and so pleased that this one is so thorough and encouraging. It would be a stellar gift for a friend on bedrest, as it is truly useful and will help the mom-to-be maintain her physical health so her recovery from delivery is faster and her first few months of caring for her baby are easier on her body. You can order the DVD here on Darline's website for US$29, which includes domestic shipping and a rubber exercise band (the only equipment you need to do the exercises).