Before 27-year-old Stacie Bryant became pregnant, her only physical activity was taking occasional walks with her husband and two dogs around their St. Augustine, Fla., neighborhood. But during her first trimester, she was motivated to maintain a healthy weight gain and began swimming laps.
She swam every day for 30 minutes throughout her pregnancy, and believes that the newfound exercise routine resulted in better quality of sleep, an easier labor, a healthier baby and a positive outlook about the changes happening to her body. "Gaining weight is tough for women, regardless of the reason," Bryant says. "But by exercising while pregnant, the 40 pounds I gained didn't bother me."