A new study from the University of Georgia has found that a supervised program, of low to moderate intensity, is safe and beneficial.
The research, published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, measures progression based on the amount of weight used, changes in resting blood pressure, and possible side effects in 32 pregnant women over 12 weeks. After a total of 618 exercise sessions, none of the pregnant women in the study experienced musculoskeletal injuries.
So far, doctors have been reluctant to prescribe weight training, in part, because few studies prove it is safe and effective, this study shows that a supervised program of low to moderate-intensity exercise with weights can be safe for women with a low-risk pregnancy.
The 32 women participants did a series of six exercises twice a week in which specific muscles involved play an important role in back pain. The group increased the number of kilos of weight in all the activities up to an average of 36% for 12 weeks. These data show that women can increase their strength despite pregnancy and have never done weight training before.
One of the reasons why doctors have been reluctant to prescribe weight training for pregnant women is that during large pregnancy amounts of a hormone called relaxin are produced, which makes the connective tissue more lax in giving to the light. Increased laxity could be associated with orthopedic injuries. The research focused on exercises of low to moderate intensity to avoid injuries related to the increase of relaxin in the body.
Thirteen cases of potentially problematic symptoms were recorded after 618 training sessions, all of which involved headache, pelvic pain, and dizziness. One of the authors of the study Patrick O “Connor, commented that:” You can expect slight pelvic pain in pregnant women with back pain. You have to be careful with dizziness, and it is important to learn proper breathing techniques to lift weights to reduce dizziness. ”
The researchers also reviewed blood pressure throughout the study. “We wanted to see if a weight training program could reduce blood pressure, which would be beneficial, or potentially on the other side would be to increase blood pressure, which would be of interest to the pregnant woman,” said O “Connor. People often experience a small decrease in blood pressure immediately after a workout. Still, researchers found no changes in the 32 pregnant women after each session or after the entire 12-week program. “So the training program with weights is neither good nor bad for blood pressure. ”
Now that O “Connor and his colleagues have presented evidence that a supervised weight training program, with low to moderate intensity, is safe and effective, plans to study whether the weight training program can help reduce back pain in pregnant women.