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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1991 Oct;23(10):1128-33.

The VO2max of recreational athletes before and after pregnancy.

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1
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington 05405.

Abstract

This study was designed to test the hypothesis that pregnancy has an added training effect (increases "absolute" VO2max) in well-conditioned, recreational athletes. VO2max was measured serially in 20 nonpregnant recreational athletes who maintained their exercise within +/- 10% of initial levels over a 15-month period and 20 similar women who conceived and continued exercise at a reduced level during pregnancy with a return to within 20% of initial levels by 12 wk postpartum. Initially the two groups were similar in terms of age (30 +/- 1 vs 30 +/- 2 yr), weight 57.6 +/- 7.2 vs 59.7 +/- 7.5 kg), max pulse rate (189 +/- 8 vs 187 +/- 10 bpm), and absolute (3083 +/- 469 vs 3138 +/- 464 ml.min-1) VO2max. In the nonpregnant group the values obtained 15 months later were unchanged (weight = 57.8 +/- 6.6 kg, max pulse = 191 +/- 7 bpm, VO2max = 2977 +/- 397 ml.min-1) while those who conceived had a significant increase in absolute VO2max that was evident 12-20 wk postpartum and was maintained at the time of final testing 36-44 wk postpartum (3368 +/- 435 ml.min-1). Both weight (60.1 +/- 8.1 kg) and maximum pulse rate (185 +/- 12 bpm) were unchanged. These data indicate that pregnancy is followed by a small but significant increase in VO2max in recreational athletes who maintain a moderate to high level of exercise performance during and after pregnancy.

PMID:
1758289
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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