Exercise During Pregnancy

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Story Updated: Nov 12, 2013

It's been decades since women were routinely prescribed lots of bed rest during pregnancy...and that's a good thing. New research shows expectant moms who exercise may be doing a great thing for their babies brain development.

Researchers recruited women during their first trimester...and randomly assigned them to an active group...or a sedentary one.

The active group was asked to exercise a minimum of 20 minutes, three times per week at a moderate intensity. The sedentary group was not asked to exercise.

Then 8 to 12 days after birth...their babies had EEG's and other tests to measure brain activity.

The babies born to mothers who were physically active had a more mature cerebral activation, suggesting that their brains developed more rapidly than those born after months of inactivity.

The researchers are now in the process of evaluating the children's cognitive, motor and language development at age 1 to verify if the positive impact of exercise is sustained.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the health news for you and your family.

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The UHS Sports Medicine Program specializes in diagnosing and treating orthopedic and sports-related injuries, providing care on an outpatient basis. The program combines the expertise of certified athletic trainers and physical therapists, who work closely with sports medicine physicians on our medical staff to help patients resume their physical activities as soon as possible.