How Having a Dog Helps You Have a Healthy Pregnancy

Taking A Stroll
Creative Commons License photo credit: simon_music

According to one recent study at the University of Bristol, pregnant women who own dogs are more likely to have a healthy pregnancy in at least one respect.

The study, which looked at more than 11,000 women who were pregnant, found that women who owned dogs were 50% more likely to achieve the recommended 30 minutes of exercise each day. They believe that the owners more often than not participated in brisk walking, which is a relatively low-risk exercise that can be an integral part of a pregnant woman’s overall heath.

Weight gain and pregnancy

According to other studies, women that gain too much weight during pregnancy or who are obese during pregnancy may have a number of problems with their pregnancy, with the birth of their baby, and even with their children’s future health.

For this reason, most experts recommend that pregnant women participate in some sort of health regimen, including regular exercise.

Recommended pregnancy exercises

There are a number of recommended types of exercise for pregnant women, including hiking, swimming, jogging, and walking. It’s that last one that many women prefer.

That’s where this most recent research came in. Dog walking can be an important and enjoyable part of keeping healthy during pregnancy.

Dog walking’s impact

Dog walking by itself, of course, won’t reduce the number of women who are obese during pregnancy. In fact, another study demonstrated no correlation between women who owned dogs and those who didn’t in terms of their pregnancy weight.

Dog walking, then, isn’t a solution in itself. It’s one part of the bigger picture, but one in which educating pregnant women could have a number of positive effects.

Ultimately, any pregnancy exercise strategy has to be complemented by proper  nutrition, as well as other lifestyle choices. Walking a dog for 30 minutes a day is just one way among many options to keep healthy during pregnancy.

What kinds of exercise do you like to engage in while pregnant? Do you have a pet, and if so do you incorporate walking your pet into your daily exercise plan?


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