A new Spanish study has found that exercising regularly during pregnancy can lower the risk of developing pregnancy-related high blood pressure (hypertension), reduce pregnancy weight gain and reduce the chances of delivering a large baby.
The researchers studied 765 pregnant women who were randomly allocated to an exercise group or a control group who received standard care. The exercise group trained 3 days per week for 50-55 minutes from weeks 9–11 until weeks 38–39 of their pregnancy. The exercise sessions included a combination of aerobic exercise, muscular strength, and flexibility.
Compared to women who attended the exercise classes regularly, those who didn’t exercise were 3 times more likely to develop high blood pressure in pregnancy, 1.5 times more likely to gain excess weight during pregnancy and were 2.5 times more likely to deliver a large baby.