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Study Shows Exercising During Pregnancy Makes For Smarter Babies

exerciseSo we all know that exercising during pregnancy is a good thing, right? I know all that extra poundage and “eating for two” business seems like a great reason to park on the couch and proclaim everyone bring you whatever you’re craving, but we can all agree exercising is a good thing for all the usual reasons; staying fit, alleviating back pain, helping sleep problems and keeping gestational diabetes at bay.

Now there’s an even better reason to get moving. According to TIME, babies who had moms who exercised more show maturity of brain function that other babies did not display. The study is the first to connect mom’s exercise and her baby’s brain development.

Scientists at the University of Montreal stuck electrodes on newborn babies to monitor brain activity while they slept. The moms who were asked to exercise had babies whose brains were better able to process repeated sounds and showed a maturity of brain function compared to their counterparts.

That doesn’t necessarily mean active pregnant women will have smarter children, but researchers still want to follow up with the kids at a year old to see if the enhanced brain activity leads to enhanced cognitive development.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends pregnant women exercise moderately for about 30 minutes every day, but those with high-risk pregnancies should check with their doctors.

Image: M. Bielanko

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