Dr. Dugan shares if women should exercise during pregnancy.
Yes, it is very beneficial to exercise while you are pregnant. There are certain medical conditions that can start off in pregnancy like hypertension of pregnancy or what we call gestational diabetes, and we have now shown that women that have gestational diabetes are at much higher risk of type-2 diabetes later. So whatever we can do to avoid gestational diabetes or hypertension or high blood pressure at pregnancy is a great thing for your chronic health trajectory.
So we definitely recommend that all women exercise while they are pregnant. In fact, it’s kind of a teachable moment when many women that previously didn’t exercise really want to take care of themselves and this baby growing inside of them. So low impact is probably the way to go with the cardiovascular component of your exercise or the aerobic part of your exercise.
And we suggest just like public health recommended dosing about four days a week, about 30 minutes of low impact exercise. If you didn’t exercise before you were pregnant, you’re not going to start off at 30 minutes. You may have to build up starting with ten minutes and adding five minutes a week. But four times a week, about 30 minutes is what we think is their adequate dosing to help with your health during pregnancy and then your health beyond pregnancy.
About Dr. Dugan, M.D.:
Dr. Sheila A. Dugan, M.D., is Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Rush Medical College, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois. She is a faculty member of the Department of Neurosurgery and the Department of Preventive Medicine. She is co-medical director of the Rush Program for Abdominal and Pelvic Health.
Dr. Dugan is multi board-certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation, electrodiagnostic medicine and pain medicine. She is highly skilled in neurological and sports-related rehabilitation. Prior to medical school, she received her physical therapy degree from Northwestern University in 1986. She's currently pursuing development of a program focused on women's musculoskeletal care, including both their medical and rehabilitation needs.