Volunteers are being sought to take part in a study by Swansea University to establish whether there are beneficial effects to be gained by taking regular exercise during pregnancy.
It has long been thought that some physical exercise whilst pregnant is helpful for most mums-to-be, although there is no official guidance given that is based on solid evidence. This state of affairs has led to conflicting advice being given to pregnant women. The conditions sometimes associated with pregnancy, particularly diabetes and hypertension, might well be avoided or relieved by taking regular exercise. The team at Swansea will now seek some solid evidence to clarify the matter so that women can be properly advised in the future.
The volunteers will take part in one of two group exercise programmes that should provide evidence of the improvements to health that can be gained by following an exercise regime. When they first visit the facility the women will be subject to an initial health screening process to establish their suitability for the study.
The exercise itself will take the form of aqua-aerobics and normal aerobics. Dr Mike Lewis, who is leading the team, stated: "Although water-based exercise is currently recommended for pregnant women, there is limited evidence that there is any difference in the physiological influences of land and water-based physical exercise. By comparing the two programmes we hope to shed light on this issue with a view to compiling more accurate information on exercise for pregnant women in the future."
The criteria for the volunteers is that their pregnancy is not subject to the involvement of a specialist; they must have no cardiovascular disease and must be below a set (BMI), body mass index.
You can Contact Swansea University to find out more.
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