Having mom stay active while pregnant can be good for both mom and baby. A recent study suggests that a mom’s fitness endeavors can have a positive impact on her baby’s heart health.

The goal of the study was to determine whether a mom’s physical activity during pregnancy would have lasting positive effects on her child. According to the data, a newborn whose mother was physically active during pregnancy would reap rewards from that activity for up to 1 month after birth. The researchers found that babies exposed to exercise in utero had significantly lower heart rates (HR) and greater heart rate variability (HRV) than those in the nonexercise control group. “These findings demonstrate that lower fetal HR and increased HRV persist after birth in the offspring of women who exercised during pregnancy. This study has potential impact on cardiovascular health promotion and disease prevention.”

For more information, read The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (2011. 25; 1108.5).