IRMO, SC (WACH) -- She's eight months into her first pregnancy, and Jennifer Warren is not backing down from a good workout.
"I've been active up until the pregnancy, so I've stayed active throughout," says Warren, a group fitness instructor at the Northwest Family YMCA. "I actually ran a half marathon at 16 weeks."
In addition to teaching Zumba three times a week, Warren still lifts weights and does spin or elliptical workouts each week, and she says her doctor has no concerns.
"They told me I could keep teaching Zumba until I felt like I couldn't do it anymore, so I'm still going strong," says Warren.
As a personal trainer herself, Warren is certified in how best to train a pregnant woman. She says you should base the intensity of your pregnancy workouts on how physically active you were before pregnancy.
"Pregnant women -- as long as they've been active before pregnancy -- they can pretty much keep their same workout throughout," says Warren.
For women who weren't active before pregnancy, Warren advises to start slow with a comfortable walk or ride on the stationary bike.
Exercising while pregnant can lead to more benefits than just staying fit, according to obstetrician/gynecologist Mark Wild at Palmetto Health.
"There are a lot of studies out there that show that women who exercise regularly have less aches and pains during pregnancy, they have less of a risk of gestational diabetes and other complications, and they also usually tolerate labor better," says Wild.
For now, Warren is tapering the intensity of her workouts. She has decided to make this her last week teaching Zumba until after the baby is born, and her doctor says that birth date could be any day now.