Exercise during pregnancy improves developmental maturity of infants’ brains



A team of researchers from the University of Montreal’s Department of
Kinesiology have recently linked exercise during pregnancy to
improved
fetal brain development.

The scientists conducting the study
gathered women in the first trimester of their pregnancy and split them
into two groups. The first group, the active group, was advised to
engage in moderate exercise for a minimum of 60 minutes per week, while
the other group, the sedentary group, was basically told to relax. The
active group ended up getting an average of 117 minutes of exercise per
week, and the sedentary group exercised for an average of 12 minutes per
week.

The researchers tested each of the newborns’ brains 8 to
12 days after birth. They waited until the babies fell asleep and then
played sounds and measured the resulting brain activity. The scientists
found that the babies in the active group had more well developed brains
and yielded stronger responses.

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The researchers wrote in the conclusion of their study’s abstract:

“Exercise
during pregnancy had an impact on the newborn’s brain…. [T]he
positive wave with a smaller area amplitude in the active group suggests
heightened maturity. To better understand the functional significance
of our findings, children from this study will undergo developmental
testing at age 1.”

Exercise is already known to improve a
person’s health, both physically and mentally. And it is obvious that
fetuses depend on their mothers for their nutrition and development;
now, this new study gives expecting mothers another definitive reason to
get up and get active.


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Source: (http://www.latimes.com)

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