Seeing supermodels and other female celebrities maintain a sexy body while pregnant and quickly losing the weight after giving birth can be very intimidating for expectant mothers, especially if you don’t have a personal trainer on staff. But it is possible for you to achieve the same results as well while you’re pregnant. In fact, exercising during this period of time is greatly encouraged as a way to strengthen your body in preparation for your pregnancy and labor.

Being pregnant is no easy task for women. Gaining weight, dealing with hormonal issues and consuming strange combinations of food all come with the territory of eating for two (or more). But just because you’re free to eat what you please don’t always benefit your body. More and more expectant mothers are leaving the couch and their Lifetime movies to stay physically fit throughout their term. If you’ve never thought about maintaining an exercise routine during the next few months, it would be in your best interest to give it a try.

It’s been proven that women who exercised while pregnant had shorter and easier labors, which can be music to any expectant mother’s ears. Of course, it is important to state that pregnant women should not exercise in an attempt to lose weight. That would only put the baby’s health at risk and yours as well. The key to pregnant fitness is to strengthen the body and improve your overall health in the months to come.

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Not sure you want to deal with exercise during your pregnancy? Take a look at the following benefits an exercise routine provides:

  • Helps reduce backaches, constipation, swelling and bloating.
  • Boosts your energy and improves your mood.
  • Helps you feel less tired and allows you to sleep better.
  • Strengthens muscles needed for labor and delivery.
  • Lessens some of the discomforts of pregnancy.

Who wouldn’t want to benefit from that? The easiest way to implement an exercise routine is to start as soon as you find out you are pregnant. Check with your doctor to find out what exercises you should stay away from and which ones will be suitable for your body changes. The main areas of the body pregnant women should work on including the heart, abdominal muscles, back muscles, and the pelvic muscles.

The best type of exercise for women before and during pregnancy is walking. Never underestimate the power of a brisk walk through the park or around your neighborhood. Squats and Kegel exercises are ideal for strengthening the pelvic muscles to prepare for labor. Stationary cycling and participating in low-impact aerobics are perfect for expectant mothers. Avoid exercises that require you to be on your back or stomach. Light to moderate exercise, as approved by your doctor, a few times a week is better than exercising sporadically or after a long period of inactivity. The idea behind pregnant fitness is to condition your body to a routine that will target the right areas.

Always stay well hydrated and stop exercising anytime you feel weak or dizzy. Exercising with a partner also helps to make fitness while pregnant fun.