The effects of a 10-week exercise intervention on body mass and body composition in postpartum women /

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Pruett, Michele
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Middle Tennessee State University
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a 10-week exercise intervention on changes in body mass and body composition in postpartum women. The sample included 15 women that were 6 weeks to 10 weeks postpartum. All participants had a single birth and an uncomplicated pregnancy. Body mass and skinfold measures were taken at pre- and post-test. In addition, a nutrition log was utilized to determine caloric intake throughout the exercise program. Dietary intake was recorded on one weekend day and two weekdays at pre-test, 5 weeks, and post-test. The exercise intervention consisted of 2 days a week of light strength training and walking or running, as well as 1 day of water exercise. Participants also walked or ran two times a week at home. A one-way MANOVA was conducted between the experimental and control groups on the linear combination of difference scores between pre- and post-tests on body mass and body fat percentage. Body mass was not statistically significant (p = .073) although there was a difference in body mass loss between control and experimental groups. However, the change in body fat was statistically different between groups (p = .002). These data indicate that interactive exercise interventions can be helpful for postpartum women. Research is sparse in this population and this study may serve as a pilot program to hopefully help future research with this population.
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