Showing other moms-to-be how to get it done when it comes to staying fit during pregnancy, Lizzy McGuire star and expectant mom Hilary Duff was spotted at her favorite LA-area Pilates studio, looking ready for a prenatal workout in stretchy black pants, sneakers, and a loose white T-shirt—so baggy that it made her baby bump seem barely there. We like Duff's approach to dressing comfortably while exercising (plus sneakers help you keep your balance when you're pregnant), but what we really applaud is her choice of prenatal workout.
A series of stretching, toning, and resistance exercises, Pilates zeroes in on toning and building strength in the body's core muscles, including the abdominals, back, and pelvic floor—the very muscles that can help naturally support a more comfortable pregnancy and delivery. According to Pilates expert Marguerite Ogle, another great reason to do Pilates in pregnancy is that Pilates is very adaptable. "Most Pilates exercises can be modified as your body [changes during pregnancy]. The modifications help you keep the intent of the exercise, but adjust the form to work for your body," she writes about the exercise for About.com.
Pilates exercises are done on either on a mat on the floor and equipment generally utilizes pulleys and resistance from the participants own body weight on the machine and graduated levels of springs. Is it for you? Before engaging in any workout routine, check with your doctor or midwife to make sure exercise is safe for you during pregnancy (some health conditions may make exercise not advised). You might be lucky enough to find a prenatal Pilates classed to attend, but if it is just a general class, make sure the instructor knows you're pregnant so certain exercise can be modified.
Who knows? You might even run into Hilary Duff!