There will be some days in your pregnancy when just getting out of bed can be a challenge - so exercise might seem out of the question! But even gentle activity can do wonders for you during pregnancy. It helps prepare you for childbirth by strengthening your muscles and building endurance, and makes getting your body back in shape once the baby's born much easier.

And staying active during pregnancy doesn't necessarily mean going for the burn!

You must of course take great care with your choice of exercise – contact sports such as netball and sports that are high risk or could see you lose your balance, such as roller blading and horse-riding, should be avoided! It is also important that you seek approval from your GP or midwife before taking part in physical activity - particularly if you have any special medical conditions.

Ideal exercise gets your heart pumping, keeps you supple, manages weight gain, and prepares your muscles for the hard work of labour and delivery -without causing undue physical stress for you or your baby.

And while watching the weighing scales creep their way up to numbers you've never seen before can be disheartening it’s always worth remembering that the amount of exercise that you do prior to and during your pregnancy will help you snap back in to shape more rapidly once the nine months have past.