Date of Award

5-8-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department

Health, Physical Education, and Recreation

First Advisor

Kaelin Olsen

Abstract

People are often confused about the effects and recommendations of exercise during pregnancy. A review of the literature demonstrates that regular physical activity provides benefits to both mother and fetus during pregnancy. These benefits range from decreasing the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus to improving the mother's psychological well-being and can be obtained without causing harm to the fetus. The recommendations for physical activity during pregnancy include thirty minutes of physical activity on most, if not all, days of the week. These recommendations are the same as those for non-pregnant individuals. Contrary to popular opinion, a sedentary lifestyle during pregnancy can contribute to the development of disorders such as obesity (in both mother and child), gestational diabetes and other disorders associated with overweight and obese subjects. A lifestyle that incorporates regular physical activity can combat and even prevent these disorders as well as improve the overall well-being of both mother and fetus.

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