Dogs encourage low-risk exercise in pregnant women

   Feb 16, 11:40 am

Washington, Feb 16 (ANI)): Pregnant women who owned dogs are approximately 50 percent more likely to achieve the recommended 30 minutes of exercise a day through high levels of brisk walking than those without dogs, according to a new study.

Scientists suggest that as it is a low-risk exercise, walking a dog could form part of a broader strategy to improve the health of pregnant women.

The study of more than 11,000 pregnant women was conducted by the University of Liverpool in partnership with Mars Petcare.

Previous studies have shown that maternal obesity and large weight gain during pregnancy has adverse outcomes for mother and child. Studies show, for example, that obesity in pregnant women can result in difficult births and may also have implications for future obesity in the child.

As a result, pregnant women, and those contemplating pregnancy, are advised to contact health professionals to manage their weight and exercise.Recommended exercise during pregnancy includes walking, hiking, jogging and swimming, but many women prefer walking as their primary means of exercise.

In the first study to investigate whether dog walking could help promote exercise in pregnant women, researchers anticipate the findings could be of value to health experts who offer advice on maintaining general fitness and healthy eating habits during pregnancy.

“Although the higher physical activity levels of adult dog owners has already been demonstrated in the US and Australia, this is the first study of its kind to examine whether the effects also apply to pregnant women,” said Dr Carri Westgarth, from the University’s Institute of Infection and Global Health.

“By not managing their weight and exercise, pregnant women risk unnecessary weight gain, as well as a difficult labour or weight problems for the child in later life.

“We found that owning one or more dogs was associated with pregnant women taking part in brisk walking on a regular basis, helping them to achieve the recommended 150 minutes of activity a week. Findings suggest that ownership of a dog provides some motivation to go for a walk, even during pregnancy.

Dog walking alone cannot reduce the numbers of obese pregnant women, however, and we found no association between the weight of women with dogs compared to those without them. We also found that some pregnant women with dogs didn’t go out walking. This means that we need to look at how promotion of dog walking could be integrated into a wider strategy, which includes advice on healthy eating, to encourage exercise during pregnancy and reduce weight gain.

“We now need to investigate why some people do not take up the health enhancing opportunity to walk their dogs regularly, and what barriers and motivators there are to walking. We also need to find out how factors such as the type of dog many affect the intensity of physical activity; for example whether owners with large dogs walk more briskly, compared to owners with small dogs. This will help us identify the advice health professionals could recommend to pregnant women for dog walking activity,” he explained.

Dr Sandra McCune, Research Programme Manager at Mars Petcare, added: “Mars Petcare at WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition undertake a variety of research into benefits of pet ownership. We believe that owning a pet, and taking care of it properly, is hugely positive for the mental and physical wellbeing of the owner. This research shows that dog walking can form part of a healthy lifestyle for pregnant women, who may otherwise find it difficult to meet their exercise objectives.”(ANI)
 

Arogya Expo to set up 20 speciality clinics in New Delhi Oct 31, 9:11 pm
New Delhi, Oct. 31 (ANI): Arogya Expo will set up 20 speciality clinics across the national capital to provide free check-ups and medicines ahead of the sixth World Ayurveda Congress (WAC) here.
Full Story
Here's how heart's own immune cells can help it heal Oct 31, 3:36 pm
Washington, Oct 31 (ANI): A new research has revealed that the heart's own pool of immune cells is capable of helping it heal after injury.
Full Story
Changes in 'super-spreader funeral events' may help stop Ebola spread Oct 31, 12:07 pm
Washington, Oct 31 (ANI): A new research has revealed that hygienic funeral practices, case isolation, contact tracing with quarantines and better protection for health care workers offer best chance to stop the spread of Ebola in West Africa.
Full Story
Mediterranean-style diet may reduce risk of developing kidney disease Oct 31, 11:06 am
Washington, Oct 31 (ANI): A new research has demonstrated that eating Mediterranean diet which includes fruits, vegetables, fish, legumes, and heart-healthy fats are linked with decreased risk of developing chronic kidney disease.
Full Story
Comments

LATEST STORIES
TOP VIDEO STORIES
PHOTO GALLERY