The benefits of exercising during pregnancy include shorter
labor and timely delivery; higher birth weight babies; and
reductions in nausea,
fatigue and other pregnancy-related discomfort. Add regulating
blood pressure to this list, according to a study published
in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine.
Sixteen expectant mothers were recruited for
the study before 14 weeks of gestation, observed for four
weeks, then assigned to an exercise or a control group. The
exercise group performed 30 minutes of moderate-intensity
exercise, consisting of activity on a motorized treadmill
or bicycle ergonometer, three times a week for 10 weeks. The
control group maintained individual levels of physical activity.
Systolic blood pressure did not change significantly
in either group, but diastolic blood pressure decreased in
the exercise group and increased slightly in the control group.
Both groups engaged in similar levels of daily physical activities
and were similar with respect to weight and body composition,
suggesting that the added exercise sessions exerted an independent
influence on blood pressure.
Yeo SA, Steele NM, Chang M-C, et al. Effect of exercise on
blood pressure in pregnant women with a high risk of gestational
hypertensive disorders. The Journal of Reproductive Medicine
2000: Vol. 45, pp293-98.
For more information on women's health, visit http://www.chiroweb.com/tyh/women.html.