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Experiences of Exercise During Pregnancy Among Women Who Perform Regular Resistance Training: A Qualitative Study.

Journal article
Authors Karolina Petrov Fieril
Monika Fagevik Olsén
Anna Glantz
Maria Larsson
Published in Physical therapy
ISSN 1538-6724
Publication year 2014
Published at
Language en
Subject categories Other Medical Sciences


BackgroundPregnant healthy women are recommended to do 30 minutes or more of light to moderate exercise a day on most, if not all, days of the week. However, only one out of six pregnant women in the US follows recommendations. Little attention has been given to the experience of exercise in pregnancy.ObjectivesThe aim of the present study was to describe experiences of exercise during pregnancy among women who performed regular resistance training.DesignThis study was a qualitative inductive content analysis study.MethodsSeventeen pregnant women who exercised on a regular basis participated in individual semi-structured face-to-face interviews that were recorded, transcribed, coded and condensed into sub-categories and categories.ResultsFour categories emerged (sub-categories within parenthesis); positive impact on body and mind (reduced pregnancy-related problems, increased self-confidence and sense of control, immediate positive feedback, and effects on lifestyle and quality of life); expected benefits and facilitators (knowledge of health benefits, part of one's lifestyle, preventing pregnancy-related problems, social support, stay in good shape, and healthy living with regard to the fetus); new exercise barriers (physical limitations, taking care not to harm oneself or the fetus, uncertainty or lack of knowledge, sense of exclusion at the fitness center, lack of understanding on the part of others, and the pregnancy itself provided an easy excuse); coping with exercise barriers (lowering the intensity, modifying the type of exercise, changing exercise goals, and extra attentive during exercise).ConclusionPregnant women strived to exercise if the exercise facilitators outweighed the barriers. Since the study describes facilitators, barriers, and strategies for how to overcome exercise barriers, the result can be useful in exercise promotion in healthy pregnancy.

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