Fitness trainer and mom-of-three Erica Ziel shares her easy to follow tips.

By peoplestaff225
Updated March 04, 2012 11:00 AM

Core Athletica Inc.‘s Erica Ziel knows firsthand the benefits of staying fit while pregnant. Not only is she a mother-of-three, but she’s a certified trainer, pilates instructor and nutritionist.

But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t understand how difficult it can be for moms-to-be to find the time and energy to exercise and eat right.

That’s why Ziel suggests doing what works best for you. She has also come up with a few easy ways to help you maintain your nutrition and fitness goals.

Check them out below:

Walk, walk, walk. I usually recommend that you aim for 30 to 60 minutes of exercise six days a week. But that doesn’t mean it has to be a hardcore workout. Walking counts. Don’t have the energy? Cut your walks or exercising into shorter time periods (start with 8 minutes). Once you get started, you may actually feel better and gain more energy.

Find a workout buddy. Have a friend that’s pregnant too? Then you both can sign up for a local prenatal Pilates or yoga class to keep each other motivated. But if you go it alone, these kinds of classes are a great way to meet other moms-to-be. You also don’t have to limit your workout partners to other expectant friends. Set up a regular time each week to meet up with a girlfriend to exercise or even take a walk.

Skip the gym. If you find it hard to motivate yourself to go to your local fitness center, invest in a couple of prenatal workout videos that you can do in the comfort of your home. My series of DVD’s, Knocked-Up Fitness, include routines from 8 to 20 minutes that are designed with modifications to fit your energy level every day.

Record everything. The best way to stick to your fitness and nutrition goals is to write it all down. I’m loving the new mama2b by Fitlosophy book. It’s a great way to keep track of your eating and exercise during your entire pregnancy. It also doubles as a pregnancy journal, which could lead to cute anecdotes you’ll read later on.

Focus on your core. Always try to use your deep core muscles, this can help ease potential pregnancy back aches and can lead to an easier delivery. Pilates is a great way to target these important muscles without a lot of discomfort.

Note: Avoid traditional crunches as this could lead to increased abdominal separation. Also, running can be okay, but only if your doctor approves and it feels good to you. Otherwise, stick to low impact cardio, elliptical and the treadmill.

Take it easy. Be sure to always keep water nearby and drink plenty. As your pregnancy progresses, it’s normal to feel your workouts getting harder, so listen to your body and don’t overdue it. If you can’t carry on a conversation with the person next to you, then definitely slow down.

Also, as your belly grows you may find that using a support belt can help ease low-back pain, making it easier for you to continue getting your workouts in. And make sure to wear supportive and comfy sneakers when walking or working out.