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new research on the benefits of exercising for two

April 18, 2011

Thanks to reader Syd for sending me the link to this recent NY Times article on the benefits of exercising for two. I already knew that keeping fit and mobile during pregnancy benefited me. I knew of the usual reasons why exercising during pregnancy is extolled by many; easier labor, better state of mind for the mother-to-be, better overall health for the mother which makes for a healthier baby, etc etc. But according to the studies in this above mentioned article, the benefits extend beyond affecting the mother to directly influencing the baby as well. The bottom line…

Babies born to mothers who exercised while pregnant were found to have healthier hearts than other infants a full month after delivery […] The babies born to exercising mothers continued to have lower heart rates and greater heart-rate variability four weeks after delivery than the babies born to the other women. The effect was especially robust in the children whose mothers had exercised the most, Dr. May said; they had the slowest heart rates and presumably the strongest hearts.

Sounds good to me! I love the idea that little C. isn’t just passively swimming along in her amniotic fluid while I’m cycling to work or taking our dog on a walk. It’s really cool to think of her working out right along with me, building a strong heart, and benefitting from the cardiovascular activity in a very specific way.

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