According to a study published in science advances by Min Du, a professor of animal sciences at Washington State University, and his Ph.D. student Jun Seok Son, exercise during pregnancy helps in keeping the baby fit. In a research study done in mice, they discovered that exercise during pregnancy stimulates the production of brown adipose tissue, known as brown fat (good fat), in a developing fetus. Apelin (exercise-induced hormone) produced after exercise in pregnancy is present in both the mother and fetus. Apelin activates the production of brown fat, improving metabolism, thus preventing obesity.
Brown fat’s dominant role in the body is to burn off to give heat or energy easily. Unlike brown fat, white fat is in white adipose tissue is responsible for obesity, and it’s tough to burn off. In Du and Son’s research was conducted in pregnant mice – some left to a sedentary lifestyle with no exercises and others exercised daily.
The results show that; offspring that mothers exercised in pregnancy had more brown fat relative to body weight and burnt white fat faster as compared to those that did not exercise. Thus preventing obesity and improving metabolism in the offspring. In the same study, those mothers that exercised had improved glucose tolerance in comparison to their counterparts-Glucose intolerance is poses a risk to developing diabetes later in life.
The research findings aim to encourage women to continue being active, fit and exercising during pregnancy. For more on this, read the article; https://news.wsu.edu/2020/04/17/exercise-pregnancy-reduces-obesity-among-offspring/