Pregnant Women Need More Physical Activity
women are not accumulating enough physical activity to meet
recommendations from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which advise 30
minutes of moderate activity on most, if not all, days of the week.
Women who were not pregnant were more apt to be active than pregnant
women, generally meeting vigorous or moderate physical activity
recommendations, found a study.
compared the extent to which women are meeting physical activity
recommendations and whether physical activity levels differ between
pregnant and non-pregnant women.
were not pregnant were more apt to be active than pregnant women,
generally meeting vigorous or moderate physical activity
the most common activity for both groups of women, a report on the
study results said. Pregnant women who did get the recommended amount
of activity were more likely to be younger, non-Hispanic white, more
educated, married, nonsmokers and have higher incomes.
worth of data and a sample of 150,259 pregnant and non-pregnant women
from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System were used in the
study to evaluate physical activity recommendations. The women were
grouped into multiple categories based on their level of activity
during the course of a month: vigorous activity (meeting guidelines);
moderate activity (meeting guidelines); moderate or vigorous activity
(not meeting guidelines); irregular activity, or no physical activity.
team noted the importance of the results for healthcare providers,
indicating a clear call for the need to promote physical activity
during uncomplicated pregnancies.
women should exercise unless advised otherwise by their physician
because of medical or obstetric complications observed during their
pregnancy," said Terry Leet, Ph.D., one of the study authors. "Women
beginning an exercise program during pregnancy should perform moderate,
non-weight-bearing activities, such as brisk walking, swimming, or
exercising prior to their pregnancy should continue their activities,
except for contact sports, scuba diving, or other activities that might
possibly cause abdominal distress," said Leet..
importance for the health of the mother and the baby, staying active
and flexible aids in the recovery process of childbirth and also can
help with postpartum weight maintenancefor the mother," the researcher
results were published in a recent issue of Medicine & Science in
Sports & Exercise®, ACSM's official journal.
For more information visit www.acsm.org.