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Washington, Mar 26 : A new study has found that weight training is safe and beneficial for pregnant women provided it is a supervised, low-to-moderate intensity program. The research measured progression in the amount of weight used, changes in resting blood pressure and potential adverse side effects in 32 pregnant women over a 12-week period. The 32 participating women did a series of six exercises twice a week that targeted muscles that play an important role in back pain and function.
One reason physicians have been reluctant to prescribe weight lifting to pregnant women is that they produce high amounts of a hormone called relaxin, which makes connective tissue become more lax so that the body is ready to give birth, explained O'Connor.

The research is published in the current edition of the Journal of Physical Activity and Health. After a total of 618 exercise sessions, none of the pregnant women in the study experienced a musculoskeletal injury. The group increased the amount of weight lifted in all of the exercises by an average of 36 percent over the 12-week period.
The research focused on low-to-moderate exercise so as to avoid injury associated with increased relaxin in the body, said O'Connor.

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