When choosing a prenatal Pilates DVD, there are several factors to consider. If time is an issue, a women could look at the length of the DVD and check to see whether groups of exercises can be easily broken down into smaller segments. In addition, it may be important to see whether the exercises on the prenatal Pilates DVD are challenging and geared on toning the body or, in the alternative, they promote stretching, relaxation, and making labor less painful. Another factor to consider is whether or not Pilates equipment or props are necessary to use the DVD, and it may be wise to make sure the instructor is certified and endorsed by a regulating body, such as The American Academy of Obstetrics.
Many women may be unable to complete a 60-minute prenatal Pilates DVD in one sitting. As a result, it might be important to find a DVD that offers the option of breaking down the workout into smaller workouts. For example, a DVD may allow users to focus on a particular body part for ten minutes at a time. Then, if the user wants to follow the DVD for 30 minutes, she might be able to exercise three different areas of her body. In the alternative, some women strive for a longer, more complete workout. In that case, the DVD should flow smoothly from one segment to the next and allow her to follow the video from start to finish.
Another factor to consider when choosing a prenatal Pilates DVD is the types of exercises that will be shown. For example, some DVDs focus on deep stretching and gentle twisting of the body. Some also focus on meditative breathing and simple exercises, such as kegel exercises, that are geared toward easing the pains of labor. In the alternative, some DVDs focus on offering women challenging exercises to help them maintain their weight and keep their bodies toned while they are pregnant.
Many times, a prenatal Pilates DVD will offer various intensity options, allowing a woman the opportunity to choose between intensities. On days the woman is more fatigued, she may choose to follow less intense exercises. Some DVDs let the woman choose her exercises based on which trimester she is in as well. The exercises for a woman in her first trimester may be more intense than those for a woman in her third trimester.
Other factors to consider when choosing a prenatal Pilates DVD include any necessary props or equipment and who is teaching. Some instructors teach using only mats while others require exercisers to lie on wedge blocks or sit on stability balls. Additionally, an instructor might be unknown or could be a famous athlete or other familiar person, but it generally is important to choose a DVD taught by someone who is a certified Pilates instructor. In many cases, the instructor or the DVD will be endorsed by a group of doctors or nurses as well.