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Community Preventive Service Task Force: Exercise Programs to Prevent Gestational Hypertension

The Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF) recommends exercise programs for pregnant women to reduce the development of gestational hypertension. This CPSTF finding is specific to one type—gestational hypertension without the development of preeclampsia-eclampsia. The CPSTF recommendation is based on evidence from 17 studies identified in a systematic review published in 2017 (Margro-Malosso et al., 2017).

The exercise programs use a combination of components to engage women early in their pregnancy. They must include supervised exercise classes that meet at least three times per week with 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise; and/or walking sessions during which women walk 90-150 minutes per week or 11,000 steps per day. The exercise programs may also include supervised resistance training, or additional education or encouragement on physical activity, nutrition, and weight management. Read more.