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Monitoring Heart Rate During Pregnancy

From Polar USA

Heart Rate Monitoring Makes Exercise Safer and More Effective During Pregnancy

WOODBURY, NY – A healthy lifestyle that includes both proper diet and exercise is essential during pregnancy. But before jumping on the treadmill, a pregnant woman should slow down, carefully evaluate her exercise routine, and most importantly, listen to her heart.

Because a pregnant woman's fitness regimen must be altered to fit the changes in her body, monitoring her heart rate during exercise is essential for both her and her unborn child. Polar, the leader in heart rate monitoring, provides a simple and accurate way to observe and regulate heart rate during exercise.

“While you're pregnant, it's important to maintain a regular program of prenatal care and keep your obstetrician informed about the type and amount of exercise you perform,” says Dr. Edmund R. Burke, Director of the Exercise Science Program at the University of Colorado and author of Precision Heart Rate Training. “Using a heart rate monitor to track the results of your adjusted pregnancy workout will keep both you and you're baby safe, while at the same time help manage maternal weight gain throughout your pregnancy.”

“One of the keys is whether a woman exercised before her pregnancy,” says Burke. “If she exercised at 70 percent of her maximum heart rate (age subtracted from 220 times .70) before she became pregnant, she might be able to continue at that rate even if that number is above the 140 beats per minute (bpm) benchmark that has been established for pregnancy. Otherwise, she should keep her heart rate below 140 bpm at all times during her pregnancy. The Polar monitor will help her follow her doctors recommendation.”

The Polar heart rate monitor also uses a weak radio signal to transfer heart rate from belt to watch and therefore is safe for both mother and child.

In addition, there are important tips every pregnant woman should know before she continues or alters her exercise regimen:

  • Reduce weight-bearing exercise such as running in favor of nonweight-bearing exercises like swimming and bicycling, especially as maternal weight increases.
  • Avoid impact exercise. Running, jumping, and intense stretching can lead to dislocations and lower back stress more readily in a pregnant woman.
  • Avoid anaerobic or maximal exercise to prevent lactate build up. Monitoring heart rate will help prevent this intensity.
  • Pace your workout. Exercise in short periods so you can keep your body temperature below 102 degrees Fahrenheit. This helps you prevent fetal hyperthermia (over heating). One sensible approach is to alternate 15-minute exercise intervals with 3- to 5-minute rest intervals.

Polar heart rate monitors are the number one choice among consumers worldwide and are used extensively by exercisers, athletes, trainers, and coaches. Polar products are also used by medical and health club facilities, government agencies, and thousands of physical education programs.

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