Aerobic Exercise During Pregnancy Boosts Baby’s Brain

Saturday, November 16, 2013
By: Byron J. Richards,
Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
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Moderate aerobic exercise for at least 20 minutes three times per week has been shown to enhance brain development in the newborn. 

“Our research indicates that exercise during pregnancy enhances the newborn child’s brain development,” explained Professor Dave Ellemberg, who led the study. “While animal studies have shown similar results, this is the first randomized controlled trial in humans to objectively measure the impact of exercise during pregnancy directly on the newborn’s brain. We hope these results will guide public health interventions and research on brain plasticity. Most of all, we are optimistic that this will encourage women to change their health habits, given that the simple act of exercising during pregnancy could make a difference for their child’s future.”

The study and exercise program was initiated at the beginning of the second trimester. The results show that the babies born from the mothers who were physically active have a more mature cerebral activation, suggesting that their brains developed more rapidly.

Pregnant women should not push their bodies when tired and should not perform exhausting exercise. This study clearly shows that consistent moderate exercise is very good for the future health of her child.

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