Exercise during pregnancy protects children from obesity, says study

Exercise during pregnancy is a personal thing. 

Many women want to keep up their regular routine when they get pregnant while others want to gently introduce it to help with their pregnancy. 

Now a study has revealed that keeping fit can protect children from obesity later in life. 

Jun Seok Son, a doctoral student at Washington State University, carried out the study and said, ''Based on our findings, we recommend that women - whether or not they are obese or have diabetes - exercise regularly during pregnancy because it benefits their children’s metabolic health.''

He continued, ''Our data suggest that the lack of exercise in healthy women during pregnancy can predispose their children to obesity and associated metabolic diseases partially through impairing thermogenic function.''

The study looked at the offspring of mice that did 60 minutes of moderate intensity exercise every morning during pregnancy. 

The control group was made up of offspring born to mice that didn’t exercise. 

At weaning, the offspring of the exercising mice showed increased levels of proteins associated with brown adipose tissue compared to the control group - and this tissue converts fat and sugar into heat.

The researchers also observed higher body temperatures in the exercise group, indicating that their brown adipose tissue was more efficient - or had a higher thermogenic function - which has been shown to prevent obesity and metabolic problems.

The mice in the exercise group showed fewer symptoms of metabolic diseases such as diabetes and fatty liver disease as well as gaining less weight on the high-fat diet.

So maybe there is something to be said for gentle exercise while expecting.