Working Out While Pregnant Might Be the Key to Having a Baby Who Loves Exercise

Pregnant woman using smart device for fitness in the gym

When I was pregnant for the first time, I had no idea what to expect ... except for the imminent pain known as labor and delivery. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to stay active during both of my pregnancies -- including running a few miles throughout the week -- all the way up to the end. I thought fitness would just help with labor (it sure did), but a new study explores the notion that expectant moms who are active will have active children -- which isn't that far-fetched of an idea.


Mom is active with a bun baking in the oven; said bun later grows up to become active.

(Yeah, I can dig that.)

When I heard about the study published in the FASEB Journal that correlates a pregnant woman's physical activity with her child's future love for exercising, I couldn't help but think about my 2-year-old and 10-month-old boys -- specifically my oldest, who would give Usain Bolt a run for his Olympic medals. (Okay, my 2-year-old would lose, but you get where I'm going.)

While most of us can agree that home life and our environment can influence a child -- and his or her decisions -- maybe these researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and Rice University in Houston, Texas, are right: Maybe children of mothers who ran during their pregnancies are just born to run. Robert Waterland, research leader and Baylor University professor of pediatrics and genetics, notes, "a mother's physical activity during pregnancy likely affects the physical activity of her offspring."

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Personally, my desire to be active during my pregnancies -- and be "that pregnant lady" who was trotting on a treadmill with a basketball belly -- was a choice I made for myself. It helped alleviate stress and body pains, and it made pushing those big-headed boys out (med-free) a speedy reality for me.

Never did I stop and think, Hmm, maybe my kiddos will take after their mama and want to run. (But, who knows, they might!)

Kicking off the 4-week countdown to "D Day" with a 5k run followed by 9.5 miles on the bike. Can't express how thankful...

Posted by Tanvier Peart on Sunday, December 15, 2013

Now, I'ma be honest if that's okay. When I heard researchers involved with this study monitored a group of pregnant rats, I was like, Um, okay ... And while many scientists are keen on looking to our furry friends for research, it is worth a mention that these experts' findings aren't perfect -- just a possibility.

Hopefully, a study like this will inspire more mommies to work out during their pregnancies (should the doctor give you the thumbs-up, of course). I can't speak for everyone -- or promise that your kid will win every track meet -- but I can tell you it made carrying my babies more enjoyable.

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Plus, if you happen to get a runner or fitness-happy person out of it, consider that your icing on the cake. And if you don't, you don't. (You'll still have a happy life!)

Saying hello to week 31 of my second pregnancy with a 2 mile run, 4 mile bike ride and 50 mins strength training (I'm baking an X-Men lol ). Body feels awesome! #fitpregnancy #lovebeingpregnant

Posted by Tanvier Peart on Saturday, March 28, 2015

Hmm, now that I'm thinking about it, both my younger sister and I run (she was the state champion track star in high school), and our mother ran track in high school and college.

You know, this study could be onto something. (Guess I'll have to wait to find out.)



Image via wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock

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