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Overweight women benefitted from exercising during pregnancy

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Weight gain is important during pregnancy, as is weight maintenance. How can they both be achieved? Exercise is the key and is recommended during pregnancy, but is it safe or effective?

Exercise is normally an essential factor in healthy living, but what are the benefits of exercise during pregnancy? A new study finds out.

"Regular exercise can help you maintain or lose weight."

Most forms of exercise are safe during pregnancy, but Simony Nascimento, from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology from UNICAMP Medical School, Campinas, Brazil found that exercise won’t help obese women avoid excessive weight gain.

The study included 82 pregnant mothers that were at least 18 years of age and had a pre-pregnant body mass index of more than 26. The mothers were also between 14 and 24 weeks pregnant.

The women were separated into two groups. One group was asked to exercise while being supervised and received home counseling, while the other group received and participated in a routine prenatal care program.

The researchers found that 47 percent of women who exercised gained more than the recommended weight, but 57 percent of women who participated in the normal routine gained excess weight. This means fewer women gained excess weight with exercise. Overweight women in the exercise group gained the least amount of weight in the study compared to the control group.

Other factors that were measured like arterial blood pressure and quality of life showed no difference.

Even though the researchers did not find an improvement in quality of life from exercising during pregnancy, don't be discouraged. Everyone, no matter what stage of life or what age, should exercise regularly.

Jim Crowell, fitness expert, believes "maintaing fit and healthy lifestyle is even more important during pregnancy". "I believe that staying healthy helps a great deal with pregnancy. Nutrition is important because if you eat foods poor in nutrition you and your baby will not receive the proper vitamins and minerals needed for optimal health. Working out is also important because it helps to regulate your energy, sugar levels, and fat burning metabolism. You don't have to, and you shouldn't do incredibly intense workouts, but it is my belief that proper nutrition and a consistent workout plan will help you and your baby stay as healthy as is possible," he adds.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
October 20, 2011
Last Updated:
October 20, 2011