Most of us already know that exercising regularly works wonders for the mind and body.

From boosting energy and busting stress to improving cardiovascular health and strengthening muscles and bones, the benefits are aplenty.

What’s more, research shows that regular physical activity can also improve maternal and fetal health. It helps prepare your body for labor and childbirthmakes postpartum recovery smoother and boosts cognitive development of the baby, among other things. But before you unroll your yoga mat, here’s what the experts want you to know:

First things first, how safe is it to exercise during pregnancy?

“Prenatal exercise is generally safe, as long as you’re careful not to overdo it and adjust your workouts as necessary,” says Dr. Larisa Corda, fertility specialist and member of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

“Physical activity does not increase your risk of miscarriage, low birth weight or early delivery,” states the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). However, before you begin, it’s crucial to discuss exercise with your obstetrician or other members of your health care team during your early prenatal visits, it adds.

For anyone who isn’t used to regular exercise, “never start a new strenuous activity that you aren’t used to,” warns Dr. Corda. “And always consult with your doctor to help advise you on what is and isn’t suitable for you personally, depending on your medical history and how well your pregnancy is progressing,” she advises.

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