It is highly beneficial to exercise during pregnancy and after delivery. A study on mice was carried out to prove the long term health benefits of exercise for obese women.
Obesity is a worldwide problem nowadays and women should take care of their lifestyle prior to pregnancy. The findings of the study highlighted the importance of physical activity before planning a pregnancy.
Effects of Obesity on Women of Reproductive Age
Women are at higher risk of complications if they are overweight or obese. Diseases such as gestational diabetes and metabolic disorders such as diabetes type 2 are likely to develop in such women. Therefore, it is important to manage weight and indulge in regular physical activity. This will control blood sugar levels and
prevent the development of diabetes type 2 in women.
Obese women can also develop other health problems such as hypertension, perinatal infection, congenital anomalies, and cesarian birth. Also, pregnant women can have preterm delivery and stillbirth.
All these health risks were associated with obesity and high body mass index. Obese women also have a higher risk of recurrent miscarriage. This was further investigated in the study.
Pregnant women can save their babies from diabetes if they start exercising sooner. They can prevent the need for insulin even if they already have gestational diabetes. However, there was little evidence about the effects of exercise on obese pregnant mothers until the study was carried out at the University of Cambridge.
The researchers observed the results of high-fat diet and exercise on mice during pregnancy. They were fed with high sugary foods until they became obese. They were then exercised for a week before and during pregnancy. The 20 minutes of exercise for a week before pregnancy until day 17 proved that it improved their health.
Moreover, the experiment proved that the maternal tissues changes with exercise. The tissues of obese mothers were then observed to become similar to those of non-obese mothers. The metabolism increased when pregnant mothers exercised thereby improving their blood sugar control. The health of their babies also improved after birth as a result.
Effects of Exercise in Pregnant Women
The health of pregnant women improved significantly with exercise. The key organs which go through changes are white adipose tissue, skeletal muscle, and the liver. Furthermore, it was observed that exercise improved the connections between cells and tissues in the body. This led to a better response to insulin hormone.
There are previous studies proving that insulin sensitivity can be improved in obese pregnant women which will further control glucose levels in the body.
The findings prove the effectiveness of exercise for the health of a pregnant woman and her baby. The study emphasized on adopting a healthy lifestyle and diet which will prevent other health problems. Prevention strategies are the key to improved health.
Maternal education is important so as to save women from health complications. The study also emphasized on health of the child so as to prevent diseases after birth. It is observed that obese or overweight women take longer to get pregnant because of anovulatory cycles.
The delayed pregnancy rate increases with a BMI of 26. Therefore, it is recommended to control your weight within the normal range. It is advised to exercise prior to pregnancy to avoid further complications if you are obese.