So I’ve had a chance to do the exercise DVDs I mentioned in my last post a few times each, and while I’m not blown away, I don’t want my money back either. “Dance Baby Dance” is the cardio routine, “Baby Reps” the strength training one. It probably says something about my lifestyle that I found the first one quite easy and the second one pretty hard. I do get a fair amount of light exercise every day just from walking around the hills of San Francisco with the baby: we don’t have a car, so I make a trip to the grocery store almost every day. This is probably why my blood pressure and cholesterol have remained very good even as my butt has steadily expanded. But I’ve never done strength training.

“Dance Baby Dance” is definitely the best one for bonding with your baby. You basically just bob around to some catchy tunes while holding your infant. Robin likes it a lot; I suspect almost all babies would enjoy it. I like the music—a lot of it is sort of rockabilly—and the instructors with their kids are of course very cute, although my liberal weenie self is bothered by how whitebread they all are. There’s one (my favorite, incidentally) who might be of Latina origin, but all the others are very very white, and the filming is done in their perfectly decorated nurseries or on the patios of their McMansions. This causes some cognitive dissonance when one is dancing to, say, the bluesy “Railroad Man.” But the video succeeds at providing a very gentle workout that’s fun for the baby.

“Baby Reps” is a little misleading, because the majority of the exercises don’t actually incorporate the baby. They’re broken out into three groups: prone, supine, sitting & standing exercises. The prone ones and most of the supine ones you do while your baby lies nearby—your basic crunches and push-ups and so forth. I’m dismal at some of these. The sitting & standing are the fun ones where you’re lifting the baby into the air, and again, Robin does seem to like this.

I’m going to keep doing these programs, but also look for other exercise options: I think I’ll want a more challenging cardio program pretty soon.

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