How Exercise During Pregnancy Benefits Baby
Researchers have recently discovered the health benefits of an exercise womb. That's right, we said "womb" not "room." According to a new study, maternal exercise during pregnancy has cardiovascular benefits for the developing fetus.
Exercise during pregnancy can help baby's nervous system
The small-scale study found that fetuses exposed to exercise in the womb have better autonomic nervous system function compared with that of fetuses not exposed to exercise. The autonomic nervous system controls the body's involuntary activities, such as the beating of the heart, blood pressure, and breathing rate.
The researchers measured the fetal heart rate and heart rate variability at various stages of pregnancy of 10 women -- five of whom exercised, five of whom did not. The fetuses exposed to maternal exercise had significantly lower heart rates than fetuses not exposed to exercise.
In other words, when the mom exercises during pregnancy, the unborn baby gets the same type of training effect benefit that you would see in an adult.
While more research is needed to determine the extent of the benefits, health experts say it is always a good idea to maintain a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy.
Tips for exercising during pregnancy
Before starting or continuing an exercise routine while you are pregnant, always consult your doctor. If you had an established exercise routine prior to becoming pregnant, ask the doctor if you can continue with your same routine; be aware that some adjustments will be necessary as the pregnancy progresses.
If you are starting a routine exercise