A commentary for obstetricians and gynecologists that highlights the most current exercise guidelines in pregnancy touts the benefits of exercise, including vigorous aerobic activity, greater energy expenditure, and strength training, with certain safety limitations, says an article in Medscape Medical News.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists adopted the current guidelines about 9 years ago. The guidance was developed about 15 years ago by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Sports Medicine. "Since then, new science has emerged that has enhanced our understanding of the amount of physical-activity expenditure needed and the intensity of exercise needed to improve health outcomes and quality of life," say authors Gerald S. Zavorsky, PhD, and Lawrence D. Longo, MD.
The safety guidelines during pregnancy suggested by Zavorsky and Longo suggest that pregnant adults aged 18 to 45 years can perform 8 to 10 muscular strength exercises during 1 to 2 sessions per week on nonconsecutive days, says Medscape. One aerobic training session can be replaced by a muscle strengthening session.
According to the article, the researchers say that increasing weekly physical activity and incorporating vigorous exercise provides optimal health outcomes for pregnant women and their fetuses. Light strength training during the second and third trimesters does not negatively affect newborn body size and overall health.
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