Obukhova O.; Sheikh K. M., fourth-year student

Sumy State University, department of physiology and pathophysiology with medical biology


During gametogenesis, fertilization, and embryonic period have begun to receive serious attention for their potential contributions to postembryonic biological and behavioral determinants of health. Like a low birth weight, a surrogate marker of insufficient maternal nutrition, has been associated with childhood and adulthood obesity as type 2 diabetes.

The role of exercise of the pregnant mother on fetal and postnatal period has received some attention. Exercise in the pregnant mother has been reported to modify the delivery of oxygen and substrate to the maternal-fetal interphase, thereby affecting both placental and fetal growth. In physically active mothers, oxygen and substrate delivery to the maternal-fetal interphase may decrease up to 50% during acute exercise but may increase significantly at rest and during average everyday activities. Regular exercise in early and midpregnancy seems to stimulate placental growth. On the other hand, regular moderate-intensity weight-bearing exercise has been reported to be associated with greater birth weights, whereas babies of mothers who are engaged in vigorous activities during the second half of pregnancy seem to have lower birth weights due to lower fat mass, although they have fat-free mass and crown-to-heel length similar to that shown in babies of moderately active mothers.

There are many important health benefits, both physical and psychological, associated with increasing physical activity. If done at an appropriate level, physical activity can help decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, lower blood pressure, improve blood sugar control in diabetics, lower cholesterol levels, and prevent osteoporosis. Increasing physical activity can also reduce stress levels and provide an increased sense of well being. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that to obtain these benefits, at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity should be accumulated over the course of the day. It does not have to be done during one continuous session. Furthermore, activities such as walking and taking the stairs instead of using the elevator contribute toward the 30 minutes.

Regular physical activity during pregnancy can help women: strengthen the muscles need for labour and delivery, control mood swings, improve circulation and posture, reduce some of the discomforts of pregnancy (e.g., swelling, leg cramps, shortness of breath, backache, varicose veins and constipation), feel less fatigued, achieve healthy weight gain, decrease your risk of developing diabetes during pregnancy.

The regular physical activity, a healthy and nutrient-rich diet, and a normal body weight should be the cardinal features of all growing children, population data reveal that are presently moving in the opposite direction on all three fronts. Thus it is quite possible that the obese, sedentary child will become the norm in a not too distant future. The consequences for the health of future generations and the health care budgets of nations are likely to be disastrous.