Kids born to mothers who maintained their exercise habits have shown lower chances of suffering from high blood pressure, even though they may weigh less at birth, new research has found.
It has been well established that babies with lower birth weight have a greater risk of having high blood pressure later in life. The researchers looked at a range of normal birth weight babies, some falling at the lower end of the scale.
“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,” said lead author James Pivarnik, professor at the Michigan State University in the US.
The researchers initially evaluated 51 women over a five-year period based on physical activity such as running or walking throughout pregnancy and post-pregnancy.
In the follow up to the study, they found that regular exercise in a subset of these women, particularly during the third trimester, was associated with lower blood pressure in their children.
“This told us that exercise during critical developmental periods may have more of a direct effect on the baby,” Pivarnik added.The study appeared in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness.