updated 12/05/2012 AT 1:00 PM ET
•originally published 12/05/2012 AT 2:15 PM ET
Celebrity trainer and PEOPLE.com blogger Harley Pasternak gives his top 5 tips for remaining healthy and toned while pregnant.
From songstress Adele and actresses Megan Fox, Reese Witherspoon, Anna Paquin, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Drew Barrymore, to models including Adriana Lima, mommy-hood has hit Hollywood in a very big way.
My job is to keep many of these women fit and healthy during their pregnancy so they can feel better during the nine months, have a smoother delivery and – of course – get their pre-baby bodies back as quickly and safely as possible.
Being pregnant doesn’t mean you can or should be sedentary. Many exercises are safe to do during pregnancy, as long as you are cautious, listen to your body, and don’t overdo it. That said, always talk with your doctor or healthcare provider before beginning ANY exercise program. Your healthcare provider can also give you personalized exercise guidelines based on your medical history.
Post-delivery, ask your doctor how soon you can begin your exercise routine. Although you may be eager to get back in shape quickly, be patient with yourself and return to your fitness routines gradually or you could get sidelined by an injury.
My No. 1 favorite activity for pregnant women is walking. It’s low-impact and easy to do anytime and anywhere. One useful tool to use when you walk is a pedometer. It’s a great way to track your steps, and can even serve as a motivator to keep going. (Just try not to walk where the path is uneven, slippery or too dark to see!)
It’s okay to get a good sweat going, but don’t overheat, and make sure your don’t over-exert yourself. If you cannot talk normally while exercising, you are probably over-exerting yourself.
Here are five of my favorite toning exercises you can do while pregnant. (NOTE: Most medical guidelines suggest women should avoid exercising while laying on their back once they are four months pregnant or more.)
1. Chair squats: Works thighs and butt
2. The diagonal superman: This works your butt and lower back
3. Dumbbell kickbacks: Works triceps and shoulders
4. Dumbbell curl press: Works shoulders and biceps
5. Dumbbell stiff leg dead lifts: Works hamstrings and lower back.
I recommend doing 20 reps of each, 2 to 3 times. But once again, check with your doctor before doing any of these exercises.
If you have any fitness or nutrition topics you want me to blog, Tweet me at @harleypasternak or leave a comment below!
Check back every Wednesday for more insider tips from celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak on Hollywood’s hottest bodies – and learn how to get one yourself! Plus: follow Harley on Twitter at @harleypasternak