Pregnancy, Exercise and Heart Health


“Now, new research suggests that the bond may be stronger than had been suspected. When you exercise during pregnancy, your baby is not, as most of us would have thought, a passive, floating passenger and ballast on the bladder. Instead, he or she may be actively joining in the workout, with the fetal cardiac system growing stronger and healthier as a result of the workouts.”

This is such important information…when a pregnant woman exercises it is beneficial to her fetus. Although this seems to be something that we should just assume to be true when it comes to health it needs to be proven. Now it is!

“Unborn children, as it turned out, did exhibit a training response, even though their mothers were seemingly doing all of the work. When Dr. May examined the fetal cardiac readings, in an earlier report published last year, she found that fetuses whose mothers had exercised showed lower heart rates and greater heart-rate variability than those whose mothers had not worked out.”

So there should be no excuses for us not to exercise when we are pregnant. If we want to be healthy and we want our fetus to be healthy then exercise should be included in prenatal care just like healthy eating and going to prenatal check-ups.

The exercise that we do during pregnancy seems to have healthy effects that last and are detectable in the newborn.

“The babies born to exercising mothers continued to have lower heart rates and greater heart-rate variability four weeks after delivery than the babies born to the other women. The effect was especially robust in the children whose mothers had exercised the most, Dr. May said; they had the slowest heart rates and presumably the strongest hearts.”

There is no excuse…we must find time to exercise when pregnant for the health of the fetus and the newborn.

The jury is still out as to whether these healthy findings will continue into toddlerhood and thereafter.

via Phys Ed: Pregnancy, Exercise and Heart Health –

Children and future heart health….


Noteworthy Wednesday!


Children and Heart Health

Can healthy habits developed in childhood and adolescence affect heart health in adulthood?

Yes, according to some preliminary studies that have been done.

The Wall Street Journal reports that although these studies have limitations one of the conclusions seems to actually confirm some common sense beliefs according to Dr. Stephen Daniels, a pediatrician in chief at Children’s Hospital in Denver, who is co-author of one of the studies… “lifestyle starting early in life is a very important factor for long term cardiovascular health”

Death from cardiovascular disease has decreased over the years but if childhood obesity rates continue to rise so will cardiovascular related deaths. Obesity is related to diabetes and both of these medical problems are related to cardiovascular health or lack of it.

At around 8 years of age risk factors for cardiovascular disease begin to become meaningful. So perhaps that is a good time to begin heart-risk evaluations in children.

These evaluations should include evaluations of the following:

  • BMI
  • Cholesterol
  • Blood pressure
  • Questions concerning diet
  • Second hand smoke exposure


Eating fruits and vegetables is important as well. Low consumption of fruits and veggies is associated with arterial stiffness that occurs in all of us as we age.  Why eating fruits and veggies keep arteries healthy is still mostly unknown.

It seems like common sense but sometimes as parents we do not heed what we know as being good for us and for our children. Since children do imitate us all the time if we do not eat fruits and veggies why would our children.

Nutrition is so very important to our health and that of our family.

The best way to get our family to eat healthy foods is to eat healthy foods ourselves. We need of course to eat in moderation.

Our children imitate us.

What I know for sure is that this puts a lot of pressure on us as parents.