Staying active during pregnancy with these 5 tips

Whether you're in the first month of your pregnancy or the fourth, there's no rule that says you can't get a little exercise in between eating for two, planning your baby shower and decorating your nursery. In fact, many women work out throughout their nine months to combat excess weight gain and ease their ailing backs.

Contrary to some of your fears, exercise won't interfere with baby development or harm your unborn child if you take the proper precautionary measures and listen to your body. As the Mayo Clinic states, working out while pregnant may boost your energy levels and improve your muscle stamina, which can come in handy during delivery. Not sure of how to go about exercising with a big belly? In addition to speaking to your doctor about what's safe, consider the following tips and techniques to get in your daily dose of physical activity.

1. Sign up for a class
If you don't know where to begin, there are many exercise classes specifically designed for pregnant women that you might want to take advantage of. Whether you have an interest in dance or yoga, there's likely a course in your area that you can sign up for - you'll also have the benefit of meeting other moms-to-be!

2. Listen to your body
An important aspect of working out while pregnant is observing your body and knowing when it's time to take a break. In general, it's always best to listen to your body while working out - even when you're not expecting. Pushing yourself can increase the risk for injury.

If you start to feel exhausted or dehydrated, take a breather. Practicing safety first and foremost can ensure that you have nothing to worry about throughout your nine months of pregnancy.

3. Take a dip in the pool
One exercise that many moms-to-be tend to enjoy is swimming. This activity allows you to get the cardio workout you're looking for without putting stress on your joints. Furthermore, it can keep you toned if you do it on a routine basis. Whether you have your own pool or you're a member of a gym that has one, it's worth taking a dip. Even if you're not an avid swimmer, this might come to be your favorite pregnancy exercise!

4. Make it fun by bringing a friend
As you approach your due date, it's going to become more challenging to stay motivated and energized enough to work out each day. To keep your spirits up as your body goes through numerous changes, consider working out with a friend.

Whether it's a neighbor or your spouse, exercising with a buddy can make it more enjoyable and turn it into a worthwhile hobby. If you know someone who's also pregnant, it can be even more exciting to get moving with a friend who's going through the same thing.

5. Put on your walking shoes
Walking is perhaps one of the most loved physical activities by pregnant women because it can be done throughout all nine months. Furthermore, it isn't too strenuous on your joints and muscles. If you're looking for an efficient way to get the cardio exercise you need on a regular basis, put on your walking shoes and go for a stroll.

Whether you're in the first trimester or the last, these five tips can help you ensure you're keeping your body in good shape as you look forward to motherhood.

Have you exercised while pregnant in the past? Which activities work best for you? Leave your feedback in the comments section!