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Exercise During Pregnancy Beneficial for Baby Too

Exercise Beneficial for Mom, and Baby

We always put all this stress on how exercising while pregnant is really great for the mom, and makes it easier for her to get back to her pre-baby weight. However new research sort of brings us back down to earth on the most important benefit of exercising while pregnant: it's generally good for the baby too. Here are details from Dr. Linda E. May of Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences:

"When the mom exercises during pregnancy, the unborn baby gets the same type of training effect that you would see in an adult — so you see the lower heart rate and also improved heart rate variability, which is evidence of improvements in the nervous system of the heart. Maternal exercise may be the earliest intervention to improve the heart of children and possibly the best," May concluded.

So if you're expecting like Jessica Alba or plan to be in the future, don't just exercise for yourself, do it for your baby.

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Join The Conversation
Spectra Spectra 9 years
I plan on staying active during my pregnancy (when it happens, lol). I plan to continue running or using my elliptical machine with my heart rate monitor so I don't overdo anything. Women who exercise also tend to have an easier time with labor because their muscles are toned.
isabelle315 isabelle315 9 years
This is good advice, but pregnant women should still confirm with their doctors what types of exercise are safe to do. In general, it is important to not let your body temperature go too high (i.e. keep exercise to a moderate rather than strenuous pace) and not to use too much oxygen all at once (i.e. no sprint workouts). I've always been a runner, but I notice more and more that I get really exhausted so I keep it to a 2 mile jog or shorter or I go for walks. I'm in my sixth month of pregnancy, and my knees and feet are also definitely noticing the extra fifteen pounds. Exercise is good but it's even more important when pregnant to listen to your body and stop if you feel exhausted or are in pain.
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