Exercise urged for pregnant women

Sept. 15, 2005 at 2:12 PM
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ST. LOUIS, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- A St. Louis University obstetrician and nationally known exercise expert says exercise during pregnancy should be recommended.

Dr. Raul Artal says not enough obstetricians are encouraging their pregnant patients to exercise, a reluctance he finds to be old fashioned.

"With ample evidence to show that regular, moderate exercise in women with healthy pregnancies results in no adverse maternal or fetal effects, obstetricians should make exercise recommendations a top priority," he says.

Artal says pregnancy is a perfect time for women to begin exercising because they stick with the habits they adopt during pregnancy after their babies are born.

Artal recommends that pregnant women engage in moderate exercise -- such as brisk walking, which allows them to carry a normal conversation -- for about 30 minutes a day. They can combine aerobic and resistance training, but should avoid contact sports or activities that carry a high risk of falling or trauma to the abdomen.

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