If you exercised before you became pregnant, you can continue doing the same exercise now. The aim should be to keep your current level of fitness rather than trying to reach peak fitness.
If you were not very active before pregnancy, start off gently and avoid any exercises where you cannot talk without getting out of breath.
Read about staying safe when exercising and exercises to avoid in pregnancy.
Try to do some aerobic and strength exercises, as well as pelvic floor exercises.
Pelvic floor exercises
Your pelvic floor muscles stretch from your pubic bone at the front of your pelvis to the base of your spine at the back. They help with posture and support your bowel, womb and bladder.
It is important to exercise your pelvic floor muscles during and after pregnancy to keep them strong. This can lower the chance of leaking urine when you cough or sneeze (stress incontinence).
Doing pelvic floor exercises regularly can also help to reduce the length of labour.
You can exercise them at any time of day, wherever you are, without anybody knowing. You could try doing them every time you put the kettle on or have a drink.
Try these pelvic floor exercises.
Strength exercises involve working your muscles harder than usual. They include yoga, tai chi, working with weights, walking uphill and gardening.
Try to do some activities that strengthen your muscles twice a week.
Aerobic exercise is any activity that makes you breathe faster and works your heart and muscles harder. You should be able to have a conversation while you are exercising – if you cannot talk, slow down.
Aerobic exercise includes brisk walking, swimming, cycling and some classes that involve exercising to music.
If you are new to aerobic exercise, start off slowly and gradually build up to 150 minutes a week.
Read more about aerobic exercise in pregnancy.
Cycling is a great low-impact aerobic exercise, but is not risk-free. As your bump grows, your balance will change and you are more likely to fall off.
If you feel less stable on your bike or are worried about being able to respond to road conditions quickly, you may want to switch to a static exercise bike.
It is safe to use an exercise bike at home, in the gym or as part of a group session.
The aim of Pilates is to improve balance, strength, flexibility and posture. It also helps strengthen your pelvic floor. Pilates could help you get ready for labour and birth by helping you relax and improving strength and flexibility.
Start with basic Pilates exercises and check that your instructor has experience of teaching pregnant people.
Read more about Pilates in pregnancy.
If you ran or jogged before you got pregnant, it is safe and healthy to continue during your pregnancy as long as you feel comfortable. Your baby will not be harmed by the impact or the movement. Running is a great aerobic workout.
Read more about running in pregnancy.
Exercising in water supports your bump and will not strain your back. It is a great way to get your heart rate up without putting extra stress on your joints and ligaments.
Aquanatal classes are popular and can be a fun way to exercise in water and meet other parents-to-be.
Read more about swimming in pregnancy.