Staying fit while pregnant is important for you and the baby you’re carrying, and this is true for surrogates too. Maintaining a healthy weight and remaining active can help with your energy levels and will make it easier for you to bounce back after the baby is born. Plus, it may stave off gestational diabetes and preeclampsia, which is important for both of you. Women naturally tend to take it easier during pregnancy, likely because their center of balance is thrown off and growing a baby is hard work as it is. Surrogates may wish to be especially cautious, but most of the time doctors not only approve of exercise but encourage it. It’s always a good idea to check with the doctor before you change up your fitness routine, but these four exercises usually get the thumbs up and are especially helpful.

  1. Yoga

Surrogates benefit a lot from yoga. Studies suggest it reduces stress, improves balance, assists with posture, makes delivery easier, and can even help you sleep better at night. Most styles of yoga are safe and healthy to do, such as prenatal, restorative, and hatha yoga, but take care to avoid positions that may strain your abdomen, require twisting, or require you to lie down. Certain varieties, such as ashtanga or Bikram aka “hot” yoga, are likely too taxing right now, so keep things light and limit yourself to about 30 minutes per day.

  1. Swimming

Swimming is an excellent choice, as the water helps support some of the weight, which makes movement easier on the joints. It’s also very low-impact, an essential element of prenatal workouts. Although doctors do not typically recommend one type of stroke over another, it’s still important to avoid twisting and to limit your laps to 30 minutes or less per day. Obviously, diving is out for the time being as well. Many women report that hitting the pool helps with morning sickness, and makes them feel better overall.

  1. Walking

Because no special equipment is necessary, and it’s easy on your body, walking is one of the best exercises surrogates can do. It has been tied to stress-relief, better digestion, easier labor, and increases in energy. In the final weeks, walking can also help ease the baby into position, so the delivery process takes less time. Experts generally say 20-30 minutes per day is a good idea. Best of all, this is one activity you can easily include others in, which is wonderful for surrogates who are taking care of their own small children.

  1. Indoor Cycling

Riding a stationary bike is much safer than its outdoor counterpart, plus you won’t be jostled around as much since you’re not contending with bumps in the road. Stationary bikes are also usually adjustable, so you can raise the handles to accommodate your belly as it grows.  

As a reminder, surrogates should always check with the doctor before beginning any routine.

Listen to your body’s signals, drink plenty of water, and keep doing the activities you enjoy. You’ll have a healthier pregnancy and will feel better overall.