13/01/2014 10:36 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Exercise For Pregnancy

Exercising during pregnancy can be extremely beneficial, both for you and the baby. By taking up a regular non-strenuous form of exercise, you can strengthen your muscles and improve your endurance, and being fit before the birth will make getting back into shape afterwards a bit easier.

It's essential to be careful when choosing your exercise, as pregnancy releases a hormone called relaxin that loosens your joints in preparation for labour

Here are a few options to keep you fit before, during and after pregnancy:

Walking is the easiest exercise to integrate into your day-to-day schedule, and the only equipment you'll need is a decent pair of trainers. You can carry out this exercise throughout the 9 months of your pregnancy.

Jogging is also an option during pregnancy, as famously done by Charlotte from Sex and the City during her pregnancy. However it is essential that you discuss this exercise with your doctor before commencing with it.

Swimming is a popular exercise for women during pregnancy as it exercises all of the body in a safe and supportive environment. It can also help pregnant women feel weightless despite carrying around a passenger! Swimming fans can also take part in an aqua-natal class, where women can exercise gently in the water. This is a great way of meeting other mums-to-be too.

Yoga and Pilates
Yoga and Pilates are great exercises for toning up, improving flexibility and strengthening the core muscles, which can be beneficial for the labour.

This is an easy one to do. Pop on your favourite CD and dance around your living room! Avoid any dance movements that require you to jump around or twirl, and keep your movements fluid. You could always sign up for a class if you prefer some direction.

It's worth looking at your local gym or leisure centre, as they often have several classes aimed specifically at pregnant woman.