The study was conducted by researchers at University of Montreal who conducted their study on a group of 10 pregnant women, asking them to exercise at least three times a week with enough intensity to leave them slightly short of breath. The researchers found that the type of exercise varied among the women, with some opting for brisk walking, cycling, running or swimming, with the average time spent on exercise being nearly two hours in a week, while a second group was asked not to exercise at all.
On measuring the brain activities of the babies 8-12 days after they were born, the researchers found that babies born to women who exercised regularly displayed a more mature cerebral activation compared to those born to women who did not exercise.
"Our research indicates that exercise during pregnancy enhances the newborn child's brain development. While animal studies have shown similar results, this is the first randomized controlled trial in humans to objectively measure the impact of exercise during pregnancy directly on the newborn's brain", lead researcher Professor Dave Ellemberg said.