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)
 

First time in India, Kerala hospital performs rare treatment for acute blood cancer Nov 27, 11:19 am
Kochi, Nov.27 (ANI): Nineteen-year-old Neena (name changed) was suffering from acute blood cancer or acute myeloid leukaemia. Her disease slipped into a life-threatening stage even after two cycles of chemotherapy. She did not have a human leukocyte antigen, or HLA matched related or unrelated donor for a stem cell transplant, the standard procedure for such medical situations.
Full Story
Drinking 3-5 cups of coffee may reduce Alzheimer's risk by 20pc Nov 27, 10:51 am
Washington, Nov 27 (ANI): A new study has demonstrated that drinking 3-5 cups of coffee might help in lowering the risk of Alzheimer's disease by up to 20 percent.
Full Story
Thanksgiving day turkeys can also be 'lifesavers' Nov 26, 2:45 pm
Washington, Nov 26 (ANI): Turkey, which popularly makes the festive thanksgiving meal, is not only good in taste, but can also save your life, says a new study.
Full Story
Now, a method to drain cancer's 'fuel tank' and restrain it from coming back Nov 26, 1:33 pm
Washington, Nov 26 (ANI): The scientists have recently found a new way to drain cancer's "fuel tank," which also restrains cancer's ability to come back after treatment.
Full Story
Comments

LATEST STORIES
TOP VIDEO STORIES
PHOTO GALLERY