Pregnant women need more exercise

Nov. 9, 2005 at 7:44 PM
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ST. LOUIS, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- A study says doctors need to do a better job of encouraging women with uncomplicated pregnancies to exercise.

Terry Leet, a study author and associate professor of community health at Saint Louis University School of Public Health, said only one of every six pregnant women is meeting the current recommendation -- 30 minutes or more of moderate physical activity on most, if not all, days of the week.

The research, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

The findings support a recent newsletter article by Dr. Raul Artal, lead author of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology's 2002 guidelines for exercise during pregnancy.

"The hesitance of obstetricians to recommend exercise to pregnant women is rooted in old-fashioned notions of pregnancy as a time of confinement," Artal wrote in the September issue of Ob.Gyn News.

Brisk walking for 30 or more minutes at least five days a week is considered moderate exercise and meets the current physical activity recommendation for pregnant and non-pregnant women.

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