The Effect of Physical Activity on Pregnancy

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While certain forms of physical activity have been proven harmless and indeed helpful during pregnancy, many forms of exercise are too intense and physically demanding to be endorsed during pregnancy without posing a significant risk to the health of the mother and the baby. In addition to that, there is a possibility of the past research being biased in favor of endorsement of exercise as an activity during pregnancy because the importance of physical activity has been extremely emphasized by media in the present age. This imparts the need to conduct first-hand research to find out to what extent, exercise can be trusted as a safe and healthy activity during pregnancy. P2: Many high school athletes tend to carry on their physical activity during the years of childbearing and need to be educated on the safety of physical activity in the period of pregnancy and postpartum. In 1985, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) gave conservative recommendations for physical activity during pregnancy, though evidence at that time was limited (ACOG, 1985). For instance, ACOG suggested women limit intense continuous physical activity to 15 minutes per session while setting the heart rate at the limit of 140 beats/min. Based on ACOG guidelines, research over the last two decades has placed emphasis on the safety and benefits of exercise during the peripartum period. Many elderly pregnant women are also physically active to some extent because of their work routines and social activities. However, there is also a considerable population of pregnant women who are physically inactive or negligibly active. The presence or absence of physical activity has implications on the health of not only the mother but also the baby. In recent years, researchers have started to analyze physical activity’s role in the light of chronic disease prevention.