19 December 2008

Should Pregnant Women Exercise?

Exercise during pregnancy helps woman maintain a sense of well-being and control over her changing body. Despite common fears, there's no evidence linking exercise to miscarriage: The fetus is well-cushioned and won't be disturbed by vigoruous movement. But does exercise pose other dangers?

According to Marshall Carpenter, M.D., assistant professor, department of obstetrics and gynecoloy, Brown University Program in Medicine, "Exercise is demonstrably safe for pregnant women when their heart rate remains below 150 beats per minute." That's sufficiently vigorous to give a woman a good aerobic workout and allow her to participate in most sports. Exercising to exhaustion, though, may cause problems.

Doctors have typically recommended that a woman simply maintain her previous level of exercise during pregnancy. Conversely, Dr. Carpenter believes that there is no risk to the fetus if a woman who is poorly trained begins a moderate exercise program during pregnancy. He warns, though, that there may be risk of injury to the mother, since the hormone relaxin, released during pregnancy, causes a loosening of joints in the pelvis and elsewhere. Playing racket sports or other high impact activities may result in twisted or hyperextended joints, particularly in women who are not thouroughly familiar with what their bodies can do.

There has been no convincing scientific evidence that exercise improves the health of a pregnancy or improves delivery. But he asserts that exercise will improve a pregnant woman's outlook and general well-being. It may also help her regain her shape after the baby is born.



sunny December 19, 2008 at 5:21 PM  

Pregnant should exercise, esp the KEGEL EXECISE to streghten the pelvic muscles and to prepare for the coming muscle stress later in pregnancy....


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