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Women's Performance

Podcast 165: Dr. Shon Rowan on Pregnancy Exercise & HRV Study

March 22, 2022

On this week’s episode, we take an in-depth look at pregnancy, exercise, and a study using WHOOP data.

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Kristen Holmes and Emily Capodiulupo return for a discussion with Dr. Shon Rowan from West Virginia University about a first-of-its-kind study with WHOOP. This study followed women throughout the course of their pregnancy to understand the physiological impact of pregnancy and exercise.

The research revealed that participants experienced an increase in resting heart rate and a decrease in heart rate variability for much of their pregnancies, but saw a bounce back in those metrics in the weeks before birth. The participants also reported higher HRV scores postpartum compared to their heart rate variability baseline before pregnancy.

READ MORE: Pregnancy Study Shows Benefits of Exercise, Useful Trends in HRV & RHR

Kristen, Emily, and Dr. Rowan discuss the common misconceptions about what you can and can’t do while you’re pregnant, why exercise often leads to better outcomes while you’re pregnant, including better physiological data, and the role wearables can play in health monitoring during pregnancy. They also explain why research on pregnancy and exercise has been limited and why this WHOOP research can lead to additional studies in the future.

 

Pregnancy study podcast episode chapters:

4:10 – Exclusion of pregnant women from studies on exercise.

8:36 – Current guidelines for exercise during pregnancy.

12:09 – Myths about exercise for women.

13:39 – Diet and exercise during pregnancy.

14:56 – Study findings.

18:09 – HRV during pregnancy.

22:05 – Postpartum data and HRV increases.

27:12 – Studying pregnancy and menopause with the WHOOP Journal.

30:35 – Menopause.

 

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