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The Road to Lower Blood Pressure During Pregnancy


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.

Reference:

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.

   

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