Regular exercise before and during pregnancy could help women who develop preeclampsia, say researchers from the University of Oregon.

The study, published in the December issue of Hypertension, showed hypertension in rats was alleviated by exercise, although further research needs to be done on exactly when exercise must start, how long one should exercise and whether it can be safely used as treatment for hypertension caused by insufficient blood flow in the placenta.

This study confirms what many doctors and researchers recommend for their patients ­ making exercise a regular part of your day to day life. While it appears exercise may reduce the risks associated with pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia, it can also decrease a woman's risk of developing pregnancy complications in the first place.

Read our section on Exercise in pregnancy for more information.