Exercising While Pregnant Linked To Babies With Stronger Movement Skills

Researchers have found that exercise during pregnancy could strengthen a baby’s motor skills. While the exact cause is yet to be determined, scientists hypothesize that an increase in blood and oxygen flow triggered by exercise significantly helps a baby’s development. It may be more difficult to exercise while pregnant, but it’s certainly good for both you and your baby.

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On average, doctors recommend expecting women get 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise on most days of the week or even every day. This amount can increase or decrease depending on your doctor’s recommendation and your specific physical condition. One must still be careful, however, when choosing which activities to do. Contact sports, hot yoga, or exercise at high altitudes are not recommended for expecting mothers. With the right fun activity, working out can have so much positive impact to both your and your baby’s health.

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Researchers studied the effects of exercise during pregnancy on 71 healthy women and tested its effects on the motor skills of their one-month old babies. There were two groups: one tasked with aerobic workouts and a control group. The test group exercised consistently three times a week for an hour, and they were given the choice to do aerobics or use a machine like a stationary bike or a treadmill. The control group only did light-intensity exercises, breathing technique, and stretching.

The results showed that the babies of the exercising moms performed better in motor skills tests. Researchers measured their head turning and other basic movements, and those with moms that did more exercise while pregnant demonstrated stronger movement skills. The exact cause is yet to be pinpointed, but they hypothesize that it has something to do with the increased blood and oxygen flow during exercise. This triggers fetal brain development—allowing for stronger motor skills to form.

Other than boosting your child’s motor skills, there are a lot of other reasons to exercise regularly during pregnancy. Staying in shape can help you prepare for the physical strains of labour and baby delivery. It will also help you sleep better, prevent unnecessary weight gain, and reduce muscle aches. Pregnancy may seem like a good time to just kick back and relax, but you should still be hitting the gym!

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