30-40 minutes of cardio at least 4 days a week. Which is about 3 days more a week than I was exercising at the time.
I'm up to 4 days a week (usually) of either brisk walking on my treadmill, or a prenatal pilates workout, or a little of both. I've found that I don't get quite as out of breath on the stairs, but I do still "huff and puff".
I came across Erica Ziel's website early on in my first trimester and was impressed that she's had 3 kids and continues to be in great shape, all while helping other moms and moms-to-be get and stay fit as well.
Imagine my excitement when I learned she has youtube videos and 2 prenatal exercise DVDs. Sweet. So, I popped over to amazon and used my swagbucks rewards to buy this 2 DVD set, which comes with a resistance band. (You'll need one for these DVDs)
I am sold. This is the best baby related thing I've purchased to date. The workouts are easy to follow and include a few modifications to make some of the more challenging moves easier if you're not all that in shape to begin with.
Let me just say right now that if you're a fitness veteran, crazy in shape and super toned before getting pregnant, you might find these workouts too easy.
But, if you're like the rest of us average janes that don't live at a gym, you'll appreciate Erica's workouts. They'll get you sweating and you'll feel it in the morning, but they're also low impact and specifically designed for pregnant mamas.
The Nitty-GrittyThe first DVD, Pilates Infused Fitness, is a compilation of 5 short workouts focused on different muscle groups. I love that this DVD has a workout schedule printed inside the cover. It takes the guesswork out of choosing which segments to do. You could literally follow the schedule and work a different part of your body each day. Very approachable and motivating!
The other DVD, Prenatal Core Pilates Workouts contains 1 short and 1 long workout segment that I usually do together. The longer workout is a yoga and pilates combination that works the entire body. The shorter workout is focused on the core muscles.
I'm impressed that Erica was quite pregnant when she filmed these DVDs. It's encouraging to see someone whose belly is bigger than mine still able to do all the moves. I feel like, 'If she can do it, so can I'.
The other thing I love is that the DVDs work out and prepare the muscles you'll need for labor, delivery and recovery. And, I've heard from many different sources that the key to minimizing back pain in pregnancy and bouncing back after delivery is a strong core, which you will definitely develop if you consistently do these workouts.
The only other thing you'll need to purchase is an exercise ball. I got mine at Walmart for less than $10. It was a great value and I'm very satisfied with my purchase.
If you or a friend are looking for a great prenatal workout, I highly recommend this DVD set.
The VerdictKnocked-Up Fitness DVD Set by Erica Ziel
Rating: 5 stars
Easy to follow: Yes
Modifications included: Yes
Clear instruction: Yes
Challenging: 6 (on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being most difficult)
Bonus: Can pick and choose which segments you want to do each day
Equipment needed: Exercise ball, light hand weights, resistance band
Comes with: resistance band, 2 DVD workouts
Satisfaction: 5 stars
Value: 5 stars