CircleBumpCheckedFilledMedicalBookmarkBookmarkTickBookmarkAddCheckBoxCheckBoxFilled

Why Prenatal Exercise Is Important for Baby’s Blood Pressure

save article
profile picture of Anisa Arsenault
By Anisa Arsenault, Associate Editor
Updated March 2, 2017
Hero Image
Image: Jupiter

You know that working out during pregnancy is a great way to stave off weight gain, and that it can even make labor easier. But a  Michigan State University study is offering yet another reason to hit the gym during pregnancy: it prevents high blood pressure later in your baby’s life.

The even better news? The correlation between mom’s exercise habits and reduced baby blood pressure holds true even when babies have a low birth weight. And since there’s a proven link between low birth weight and high blood pressure later in life, it’s reassuring to learn mom can do something to counteract this.

“We looked at a range of normal birth weight babies, some falling at the lower end of the scale, and surprisingly we found that this lower birth weight and higher blood pressure relationship in these offspring is not supported if the women were physically active,” says lead author James Pivarnik. “The connection was disrupted, indicating that exercise may in some way alter cardiovascular risk that occurs in utero.”

To conduct the study, which is published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, researchers evaluated the physical activity — like running and walking — of 51 women over the course of five years. The biggest takeaway? Regular exercise, especially during the third trimester, was linked to lower blood pressure in children.

“This told us that exercise during critical developmental periods may have more of a direct effect on the baby,” says Pivarnik. Even by the time they were 8-10 years old, children were still reaping the benefits of mom’s exercise, demonstrating significantly lower blood pressure than other kids.

save article
ADVERTISEMENT

Next on Your Reading List

dad sitting at desk with baby
These Are the Best States for Working Dads in 2024, Report Says
By Wyndi Kappes
meteorologist adam krueger tries empathy pregnancy belly
Local Meteorologist Shares His Eye-Opening Empathy Belly Experience
By Wyndi Kappes
pregnant woman holding cash
These Are the Most and Least Expensive States to Give Birth
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
Stephen Ringer, Aly Michalka, AJ Michalka, and Josh Pence attend The Art of Elysium's 25th Anniversary HEAVEN Gala at The Wiltern on January 06, 2024 in Los Angeles, California
Aly Michalka Has Welcomed Her First Baby in Home Birth
By Wyndi Kappes
Anna Petrakova and host Candace Parker attend Candace Parker’s Ace All-Star Party, presented by adidas and Meta at Cindy’s Rooftop on June 9, 2022 in Illinois
WNBA's Candace Parker and Anna Petrakova Welcome Baby Boy
By Wyndi Kappes
mother breastfeeding baby at restaurant
Parents React After Eatery Bans Breastfeeding Moms and Kids Under 5
By Wyndi Kappes
mom calming toddler down during tantrum
Popular TikTok Reveals One Key Tip to Shorten Your Child's Tantrums
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
young man eating a burger
Study Suggests Dad's Diet Before Conception Influences Baby's Health
By Wyndi Kappes
certified pre loved snoo from happiest baby
How to Save Almost 50 Percent Off the Cult-Fave SNOO This Weekend
By Wyndi Kappes
Darren Criss and Mia Swier at the After, After Tonys Party at Pebble Bar on June 12th, 2022 in New York City, New York
Glee Alum Darren Criss and Wife Mia Welcome Baby No. 2
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
gabourey sidibe and brandon frankel welcome twins
Precious Star Gabourey Sidibe Welcomes Twins With Brandon Frankel
By Wyndi Kappes
Sarah Landry walks the runway at the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Show during Miami Swim Week 2024 at W South Beach on June 01, 2024 in Miami Beach, Florida
Sarah Landry Embraces Her Postpartum Body on Sports Illustrated Runway
By Wyndi Kappes
close up of pregnant belly
New Study: US Maternal Mortality Remains Highest Among Wealthy Nations
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
Eboni K. Williams during the Safe Horizon 27th Annual Champion Celebration at Gotham Hall on May 18, 2023 in New York City
RHONY Alum Eboni K. Williams Is Expecting Her First Baby via IVF
By Wyndi Kappes
Drew Scott and Linda Phan attend 2023 Baby2Baby Gala Presented By Paul Mitchell at Pacific Design Center on November 11, 2023 in West Hollywood, California
Property Brothers Star Drew Scott and Linda Phan Welcome Baby No. 2
By Wyndi Kappes
Iskra Lawrence shows off baby bump on the runway at the Cupshe show during the Paraiso Miami Swim Week at The Paraiso Tent on June 02, 2024 in Miami Beach, Florida
Iskra Lawrence Shows Off Baby Bump on PARAISO Miami Swim Week Runway
By Wyndi Kappes
Jelly Roll and Bunnie XO at the 59th Academy of Country Music Awards from Ford Center at The Star on May 16, 2024 in Frisco, Texas.
Rapper Jelly Roll and Wife Bunnie XO Share Their IVF Journey
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
 Ashley Graham attends The 2024 Met Gala Celebrating "Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2024 in New York City.
Ashley Graham Releases New Book of Positive Affirmations for Kids
By Wyndi Kappes
close up of baby formula with scoop
Harmful Bacteria Found in Crecelac Goat Milk Infant Formula, FDA Says
By Wyndi Kappes
doctor examining child with eczema on arm
Parents’ Vaping Could Increase Baby’s Eczema Risk, Study Says
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
Article removed.
Article removed.
Name added. View Your List