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How much should pregnant women exercise? They're hitting the treadmill to find out

November 03, 2010|By Mary Forgione, For the Los Angeles Times
  • Meredith Dobrosielski, 36, exercises on a treadmill at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Maryland as part of a health study about pregnant women and the effects of exercise.
Meredith Dobrosielski, 36, exercises on a treadmill at Johns Hopkins Bayview… (Algerina Perna/Baltimore…)

Just because you're pregnant doesn't mean you should stop exercising, but how much is too much? A new study under way in Baltimore may provide some answers.

Sixty pregnant women in their third trimester are hitting the treadmill at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore to provide information on the impact of exercise on developing babies, the Baltimore Sun reports.

"We do know that not only can exercise be done, it should be done," Dr. Andrew J. Satin, professor and vice chairman of the department of gynecology and obstetrics for the Hopkins School of Medicine, says in the story "Hopkins looks into fitness guidelines for pregnant women."

In years past, pregnant women had been told not to exercise, but that has changed in recent years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends at least 2 1/2 hours a week of "moderate-intensity aerobic activity," like brisk walking, for healthy pregnant and post-partum women. Other groups, like the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, recommend exercising 30 minutes a day as much as every day of the week.

The American Pregnancy Assn. offers exercise guidelines for pregnant women who are just starting to work out and those who already have a fitness routine.

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