Regularly Exercising In Pregnancy Can Strengthen Lungs & Prevent Asthma


The benefits of regularly exercising are well-known, but new research shows there’s even more reason for expecting mothers to get moving – it can help mitigate and even prevent asthma in offspring.

Asthma is a respiratory condition that occurs when the airways narrow and swell, which can make it difficult to breathe. The condition varies in severity, and for some people, it’s exacerbated only in specific situations, such as during exercise, in certain working conditions, or due to allergies.

RELATED: Less Than A Third Of Women Get Back To Pre-Pregnancy Fitness Levels After Giving Birth

Mayo Clinic explains the following can be symptoms of asthma:

  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tightness or pain in the chest
  • Coughing or wheezing attacks

The outlet notes that if the asthma symptoms become more frequent or severe, such as if the difficulty breathing is increasing, it may indicate the asthma is worsening, and medical care should be sought out.

Needless to say, asthma can easily impede a person’s day-to-day routine. But new research suggests that the condition can be prevented or at least mitigated before a child is born, and it all depends on prenatal health.

via Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio

During the course of the study, researchers at the University of Oslo asked over 800 new moms about their physical fitness in pregnancy. They also measured the lung capacity of their offspring at three months of age. This was done by securing a face mask over the infant’s nose and mouth, and analyzing how much air was breathed in and out.

In conclusion, they found that babies born to mothers who weren’t regularly active in pregnancy had poorer lung performance, Daily Mail explains. Conversely, mothers who exercised regularly when expecting were more likely to deliver babies with strong lung function. As such, it puts them at a higher risk of developing asthma or other lung diseases later in life, and suffering complications.

Specifically, while 8.6% of the babies born to inactive mothers had poor lung performance, only 4.2% of the infants born to women who exercised regularly while expecting had low lung capacity.

The researchers hope the findings of their study encourage women to regularly incorporate exercise into their routines when pregnant. They emphasize this is an accessible, low-cost way to effectively improve respiratory health in offspring that should not be overlooked.

Less Than A Third Of Women Get Back To Pre-Pregnancy Fitness Levels After Giving Birth

Via Flickr @ Nenad Stojkovic

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecology recommends that pregnant women get 150 minutes of “moderate-intensity aerobic activity” per week, which works out to be around 21 minutes per day. However, not all forms of exercise are safe in pregnancy, and this largely depends on your pre-pregnancy fitness levels.

We encourage you to speak with your doctor to determine how much exercise you should be getting in pregnancy and what work-outs are recommended based on your individual needs.

Sources: Mayo Clinic, Daily Mail, Science Times, ACOG,

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