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Pregnant Women Don’t Exercise Enough

A recent study commissioned by researchers at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill has shed light on the fact that close to three quarters of all pregnant women don’t get enough exercise.

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends women who are experiencing uncomplicated pregnancies aim for 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise daily. Even The Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week during pregnancy, which works out to 30 minutes, five days a week.

Obstetricians have long suggested that women who exercise regularly during pregnancy have better outcomes, including lower rates of gestational diabetes and less pre- and postpartum depression. In the study, researchers interviewed more than 1,200 pregnant women over a seven year period. They found that more than half of the respondents reported engaging in some type of moderate-to-vigorous activity within the past month. Moderate activity is defined as any activity that causes a change in the heart rate or moderate sweating. More women exercised in the first trimester than in the third, but no single trimester showed that the appropriate levels of exercise were met.

It can be tough to exercise during your pregnancy. Weight gain, morning (or all day) sickness, hormonal shifts, and swollen feet can all combine to make a woman feel more at home on the couch than on the treadmill. Exercise has wonderful benefits for both you and your baby during your pregnancy, and the benefits last beyond the delivery. Walking, low impact aerobic classes, cycling, and swimming are excellent ways to keep your energy up and help you avoid a large weight gain.

You might also find the information in these other posts helpful:

(via: WebMD)

April 16th, 2010

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