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Hemodynamic responses to single sessions of aerobic exercise and resistance exercise in pregnancy

Journal article
Authors Karolina Petrov Fieril
A. Glantz
Monika Fagevik Olsén
Published in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica
Volume 95
Issue 9
Pages 1042-1047
ISSN 0001-6349
Publication year 2016
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Pages 1042-1047
Language en
Keywords Aerobic exercise, blood pressure, heart rate, pregnancy, resistance exercise
Subject categories Sport and Fitness Sciences, Physiotherapy, Obstetrics and gynaecology


Introduction: Previous research on maternal hemodynamic responses to a single exercise session during pregnancy is sparse, especially considering immediate responses to resistance exercise. The aim of the study was to examine blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, and Rating of Perceived Exertion in healthy pregnant women during single sessions of continuous submaximal exercise in pregnancy week 21. Material and methods: A cross-over design was used. Twenty healthy pregnant women from four prenatal clinics in Gothenburg, Sweden, were included. On day 1, the women did 30 min of aerobic exercise and on day 3 they did 30 min of resistance exercise. Blood pressure, heart rate, and Rating of Perceived Exertion were measured after 15 and 30 min of exercise. Results: After 15 and 30 min of exercise, there was a significant increase in systolic blood pressure and heart rate (p < 0.001). Diastolic blood pressure increased slightly more after 15 and 30 min of aerobic exercise (p = 0.01) than resistance exercise (p = 0.03). Resistance exercise was perceived as more intense than aerobic exercise after 15 min (p = 0.02) and 30 min (p = 0.001) of exercise. Five minutes after completing the exercise, blood pressure quickly reverted to normal although heart rate was still increased (p = 0.001). There was no correlation between heart rate and Rating of Perceived Exertion (rs = 0.05–0.43). Conclusions: Maternal hemodynamic responses were essentially the same, regardless of whether the exercise was submaximal aerobic or resistance exercise, although resistance exercise was perceived as more intense. Aerobic and resistance exercise corresponding to “somewhat hard” seems to have no adverse effect with regard to maternal hemodynamic responses in healthy pregnancy. © 2016 Nordic Federation of Societies of Obstetrics and Gynecology

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