Though exercise during pregnancy seems like a lot of work, the benefits are undeniable. Physicians recommend that pregnant women get at least 20-30 minutes of exercise five times a week, but it should be exercise suitable for pregnancy.

Some of the best workouts for pregnant women include dancing, yoga, Pilates, water aerobics, swimming, and walking. Early on, even biking is recommended, though women should stop if it causes too much pain or pressure. Basically, any cardio exercise that is low impact is suitable for pregnant women. If you were active before pregnancy, this schedule shouldn’t be too different from your regular exercise routine, but for women not accustomed to much exercise, physicians caution that you should work up to this level of activity.

When you work out during pregnancy, you will see the benefits in multiple different ways. First of all, you will feel better when you get some exercise because working out will help relieve back pain and improve your posture. In addition to this, regular exercise helps with constipation by accelerating movement in your intestines. The added activity will also assists with restlessness and help you sleep better.

Furthermore, the exercise you get during pregnancy will prepare your body for giving birth by developing your muscles and strengthening your heart. Gaining control of your breathing is also a crucial part of working out and this skill will help you manage pain during birth as well.

Be careful not to overdo it however, and if you have preexisting conditions such as high blood pressure induced by pregnancy, vaginal bleeding, and early contractions, you should consult your physician about how much exercise is healthy for you. Some women aren’t able to get much of a workout at all during pregnancy if they have these conditions and too much exercise can even have serious consequences.

The best thing you can do is talk over your workout routine with your doctor to see what level of activity would be best for you. You may be able to maintain your regular routine into your pregnancy until at least your second trimester before you need to switch to more low impact exercises. A good way to know if you’re overdoing it is if you experience dizziness, shortness of breath, fatigue, or pain in your back and pelvis. Also, if you can’t talk while you’re exercising, you may be working out too energetically.