London: Moderate exercise during pregnancy does not contribute to low birth weight, premature birth or miscarriage, according to a new study, which claims that physical activities during the period may actually reduce the risk of complications. A Michigan State University professor and team have contributed to the U.S. government`s first-ever guidelines on physical activity.Kinesiology professor James Pivarnik and doctoral students Lanay Mudd and Erin Kuffel wrote the section on pregnancy and postpartum activity as part of the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines unveiled Oct. 7 in Washington, D.C., by the Department of Health and Human Services. "There has been quite a dramatic change in regards to pregnancy and exercise," said Pivarnik. "While it used to be thought that avoiding exercise meant avoiding harm to the fetus, research now shows physical activity can not only improve health of the mother but also provide potential long-term benefits for the child,” the expert added.Specifically, the guidelines call for women to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week during pregnancy and the postpartum period, preferably spread throughout the week. In addition to health benefits, moderate physical activity also may reduce the length of labor, evidence suggests.
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