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Physical exercise during pregnancy--physiological considerations and recommendations.

Research paper by S S Hartmann, P P Bung

Indexed on: 30 Sep '99Published on: 30 Sep '99Published in: Journal of perinatal medicine



Abstract

Controversial findings in numerous studies involving physiological and endocrinological parameters indicate that physical exercise during pregnancy is complex and somewhat poorly understood. But despite this reservation, it is safe to say that on the basis of the current state of scientific research in this area, physical exercise is to be recommended during pregnancy so long as women are aware of potential dangers and contraindications. Due to thermoregulatory advantages, the beneficials effects of immersion and its joint protective character "aquatic exercise" can be highly recommended during pregnancy. Psychologically speaking, physical exercise offers a variety of benefits such as the encouragement of cooperation and competition which can be experienced as fun and gratifying. The physiological and psychological benefits of physical exercise are not only available to healthy women, but have also proven to be valuable for the prevention and treatment of illnesses such as gestational diabetes. The activation of large groups of muscles allow for an improved glucose utilization by simultaneously increasing insulin sensitivity.