One new fitness trend is showing women that pregnancy is no reason to bump fitness out of their routine.
Hoopnotica hoop dancing is a low-impact cardio program designed to strengthen the core muscles.
Pregnancy fitness trainer Sheryl Wilson started teaching prenatal hoop dancing in New York City when she couldn't find enough exercise variety for pregnant women.
"I was really looking for a more energetic class that would be safe for pregnant women and appropriately modified,” Wilson said. “But something that would be more exciting to me than yoga."
The class uses a specially designed hula hoop that expands with you during pregnancy. It can be used on the legs, arms and chest for a full-body workout.
"You're twisting, you're turning, you're going down low, you're coming up high, and your core is engaged,” she said. “That is getting those abdominal muscles ready to be able to push out a baby."
Wilson said the exercises can even help women avoid a condition called diastasis recti, a separation of the abdominal muscles.
She said the class helps women both before and after giving birth.
“You have hip hooping to reduce tension in the lower body, you've got it above to reduce tension in the upper back, and then you've got the benefits that it provides to just bounce back into shape after,” she said.
Wilson said the class is perfectly safe for pregnant women, as long as they check with their doctor first.
For more information, visit www.fitnotic.com.