Historically, many women have given up activity during pregnancy fearing adverse effects upon the growth and development of the fetus. However, times have changed, and regular exercise does not seem to affect growth or development of the unborn infant. In fact, newer research suggests that regular exercise may provide some benefits at delivery, such as a shorter delivery time and perceived discomfort and pain. Some caution should be applied, however, to the type of activity a pregnant woman chooses. Contact sports and movements involving rapid directional changes and jarring motions should be avoided. Exercise such as low impact aerobics, walking, and swimming is considered safe during pregnancy. However, a female must pay particular attention to her energy consumption and monitor her body weight and hydration status.
Low-impact exercise such as walking and swimming is recommended during pregnancy.
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