Mel Hayman has started an online program for pregnant women to monitor their fitness. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin
Mel Hayman has started an online program for pregnant women to monitor their fitness. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin Allan Reinikka

Fitness is key for pregnant women

A HEALTHY mum equals a healthy bub.

That's what research from CQUniversity PhD researcher Mel Hayman shows, and she's encouraging all pregnant women to take on a bit of fitness.

Mel is helping pregnant women track their health through an online program, Fit-4-Two, which is specifically targeted to each individual mum-to-be that takes part.

The Rockhampton researcher says pregnancy is a critical risk period for sedentary behaviour and overweight development among women, boosting their chance of suffering chronic diseases and having a shorter life-span.

Women joining the Fit-4-Two program will have their physical activity levels measured using accelerometers.

"Most women are unaware of the benefits of regular physical activity and they have little knowledge of physical activity recommendations or available support services during their pregnancy," Mel said.

It was thought 10-15 years ago that exercising while pregnant was unsafe, but Mel said these days that was not the case.

"In the last 15 years research has proven that wrong," Mel said.

"The program tells them what to do, what's safe, how long to change.

"They can exercise to the end as long as their listening to their body and modifications need to be made."

According to Mel, even through there's benefits of exercising during pregnancy, the majority of pregnant women don't exercise of get any advice or support on the matter.

Once the project is finished, the Fit-4-Two website can be made available to project funder Central Queensland Medicare Local (CQML) as a resource for enhancing physical activity levels amongst pregnant women.  



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