There are many benefits of exercise during pregnancy, but this is the first time researchers have found a link to offspring's long-term health
New research has found that exercise during pregnancy may lead to children’s long-term health benefits, reports Psychology Today.
Researchers from the University of Kentucky, led by associate professor Kevin Pearson of the university’s Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences, found that the offspring of mice who exercised had better stress resistance and improved insulin sensitivity compared to those born to sedentary mothers. These traits were carried into adulthood.
Though the study was conducted on rodents, the researchers believe that this can probably be applied to humans too. “Our findings highlight pregnancy as a sensitive period when positive lifestyle interventions could have significant and long-lasting beneficial effects on offspring metabolism and disease risk,” the research team wrote in a media release.
These findings are consistent with the recommendations of plenty of medical experts, who have been recommending exercise during pregnancy for reasons other than the child’s long-term health.
“You need to be physically active during pregnancy,” high-risk pregnancy expert Dr. Laura Riley tells WebMD. “It has terrific benefits that are associated with a better pregnancy outcome and even shorter labors. It’s a win-win for baby and for mom.”
On the next page: tips on exercising safely while pregnant.