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Indexed/Abstracted in: Chemical Abstracts, CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,111
Online ISSN 1827-1928
Polman R. 1, Kaiseler M. 1, Borkoles E.2
1 Department of Sport, Health and Exercise Science University of Hull, Hull, UK
2 Carnegie Institute, Faculty of Sport and Education Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, UK
Aim. Few studies have been conducted investigating the psychological benefits of exercise during pregnancy. Additionally, hormonal and cardiovascular responses to water-based and land-based exercise in pregnant women are different. Therefore, this study investigated the influence of a single bout of exercise on the mood of pregnant women participating in an aqua- or studio-based exercise class compared to a parentcraft and a control group.
Methods. The study consisted of 4 conditions: the 66 participants either took part in an aqua class, a gym studio class, a parentcraft class or acted as controls. Mood was assessed using the profile of mood states (POMS) just prior to the activity and shortly following the activity.
Results. No initial differences were observed between the four conditions before exercise or activity participation. However, participation in the aqua and studio conditions resulted in increased overall mood score and showed a significant increase on the vigor subscale. Also, a decrease in the depression sub-scale of the POMS was found in the aqua condition. The parentcraft classes did not alter the women’s mood state.
Conclusion. Although the physiological and hormonal reactions are different for aqua- and land-based exercise both modes of exercise appear to be equally beneficial for pregnant women to engage in to improve mood. Additionally, exercise, but not parentcraft classes, resulted in enhanced mood in women in their 2nd or 3rd trimester of pregnancy. Although exercise has mood benefits that are comparable to other mood management techniques, it also has additional physiological and physical benefits to both the mother and the fetus.