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The Benefits of Exercising During Pregnancy on Infant Cognition

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Monday, 02 December 2013 22:16

The Benefits of Exercising During Pregnancy on Infant Cognition

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Monday November 11 2013

I read an interesting article today regarding the effect of exercising in pregnant women that was published .  A group of researchers from the University of Montreal looked at mothers during their last two trimesters of their pregnancies who maintained moderate cardiovascular exercise in comparison to those who were sedentary.  They monitored EEG results of the infants and found that infants of mothers who were physically active had more mature cerebral activity, which the researchers concluded that their brains were more rapidly developed.  

The researchers aren't sure exactly why exercising during pregnancy boosts newborn cognition, but they hypothesize that that exercise increases oxygen intake, which benefits the fetus in utero.

Many pregnant women will argue that energy and time is a huge factor that works against their ability to exercise when they're pregnant.  However, in this study "moderate physical activity" was simply defined as at least 20 minutes three times a week.  You can definitely do this!  Don't forget that in addition to the beneficial cognitive effects of physical activity, it has also been linked to a more comfortable pregnancy, a better post-partum recovery and a decreased risk for obesity in children.  On the flip side, a sedentary lifestyle during pregnancy has been linked to an increased risk for complications during pregnancy.

Hopefully, the researchers will be able to follow up with these infants when they are 1 year olds in order to evaluate their cognitive, motor and language development at that point to see if the cognitive differences that they observed while in infancy are maintained with time.

Click HERE to read the full article via Pubmed.

Click HERE for the full article on The Globe and Mail's website 

Read 38037 times Last modified on Tuesday, 11 February 2014 01:16
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