Women who are active during their pregnancy can cut the risk of delivering an oversized baby, a study has revealed.
The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, included 84 first-time mothers who were randomly assigned either to an exercise group or a non-exercise "control" group.
The mums-to-be who underwent fitness training on exercise cycles had lighter babies than women who did no exercise, scientists found.
But their babies were not shorter in length and there was no evidence that they lacked nutrition, reports The Telegraph.r Paul Hofman, from the University of Auckland in New Zealand, said: "Our findings show that regular aerobic exercise alters the maternal environment in some way that has an impact on nutrient stimulation of fetal growth, resulting in a reduction in offspring birth weight.
"Given that large birth size is associated with an increased risk of obesity, a modest reduction in birth weight may have long-term health benefits for offspring by lowering this risk in later life."
"The physiological response to pregnancy appears to supersede the chronic improvements in insulin sensitivity previously described in response to exercise training in non-pregnant ndividuals," said Dr Hofman. "This may be an important finding for athletes who want to continue regular training during their pregnancy as it suggests that training will not have a major adverse impact on insulin resistance."