Apr 15, 2014

Beach Babe: Erica Ziel of Knocked-Up Fitness

I am so excited to introduce you to Erica Ziel of Knocked-Up Fitness. Erica has established a wonderful pre and postnatal program that answers any fitness questions an expecting or new mama might have. Between her blog, her DVD series, and her new book, Erica has been an amazing resource for me over the last few months and I know she will continue to inspire me postpartum. 

I love that Erica has created a workout program designed specifically for moms. Her DVD series is wonderful because you can do it from home (hello first and third trimesters when I'm not going anywhere!). It's a super effective workout that any fitness level can complete. I received her book last week and I think I'm even more obsessed with the book than with the DVD series! She outlines several different workouts based on trimester and answers some pressing questions you may not even knew you had. 

With a degree in Kinesiology and Health and over 10 years of experience teaching Pilates and personal training, it's clear how Erica's passion for fitness can help every mama. With three kids of her own, this babe knows how to maintain her beach babe body through a fit and healthy pregnancy and long after. While I can't wait to get back to my regular fitness routine (pregnancy has been great but I'm ready for some higher intensity), Knocked-Up Fitness continues to focus on us new mamas which is a great asset to any expecting woman. I'm so happy to introduce you to Erica! 

What inspired you to start Knocked-Up Fitness?
I’ve always had an interest in prenatal fitness, which grew once I became pregnant with my first. I started Knocked-Up Fitness just after having my second. It started as a blog and personal training for pregnant and new moms. I got the idea to do the Prenatal Pilates-Infused Workouts when I was pregnant with my third, and the After Baby Pilates-Infused Functional Workouts after having her.

What do you think is the hardest part of being pregnant and having a baby?
The exhaustion! (<< oh yes!)

From sleepiness and weight gain to food cravings, do you have any tips to help a women gain control over her body and appetite while pregnant?
Everything in moderation. Enjoy those not-so-healthy treats on occasion, but try to keep a healthy diet for the majority of the time. Exercise can help balance your life/hormones to control those cravings. And of course, drink lots of water!

What's the biggest myth when it comes to exercise and pregnancy?
The biggest myth is that it isn’t safe for pregnant women to exercise. Exercise is so great for you and baby during pregnancy and beyond. More and more studies are showing the positive benefits prenatal fitness has on mom and baby.

What are the most important exercises that a woman should focus on while pregnant?
Exercises that activate your deep core including your pelvic floor. There are many exercises that are important during pregnancy, but some key ones are squats, squats with rotation, forward rolls and kegels.

How mindful should I be when it comes to gaining weight while pregnant? Any tips to staying within the recommended amount without worrying about the number on the scale?
First off, don’t focus on the number on the scale. Your body will gain what it needs to be healthy while carrying baby. Stay active and eat healthy on a regular basis, but allow yourself to indulge in cravings in small amounts. Staying well hydrated and get plenty of rest.

Was it harder to loose the baby weight after your second child? What about the third? Why or why not?
For me personally it was the hardest with baby number 3. It can be more challenging with each baby due to lack of sleep, finding the time to workout, and the fact that your skin has stretched more. With each pregnancy your hips stretch sooner and your belly pops out quicker. Your body takes on that “pregnancy shape” earlier. Therefore, it can take longer with each pregnancy to get your hips and skin to return to your former pre-baby glory.

I've heard women say "pregnancy ruined my body" or "my body has never been the same after having kids." What would you say to encourage those women?
You can’t compare your pre-baby and after baby bodies because your body has endured a major life change. I try to help women feel their best through healthy eating habits and exercising regularly, including functional strengthening exercises. Having a strong body helps you function better in your daily life as a mom and helps you feel better. By focusing on you and your well being as a mom, centering yourself and taking care of yourself as you did pre-baby, you will gradually start to feel better in your own skin. Be patient and break down your goals into smaller baby steps that you can manage as a mom.

Realistically, how long does it take to lose the baby weight?
Most fit women will lose the baby weight within 3-6 months postpartum, but it could take 9 months to a year for your hips, skin and body composition to be back to your previous size/state. Focus on how you feel and how your clothes are fitting as opposed to a number on the scale... throw the scale out! Remember, muscle is more dense than fat. So you could actually end up weighing more while being thinner if you’re exercising and strength training regularly.

Check out Erica's Knocked-Up Fitness program here. From tips and workout challenges to free workout videos, Erica has every resource new and expecting mama's could want. And stay tuned for a little collab from the two of us! Thanks Erica! xo

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