Dad’s exercise habits impact child’s health

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Dads, you want to be healthy and active so you can run around with your kids and set a good example. But did you know what you do before starting a family could actually impact their health? According to a new study, dads who exercise before conception, might be passing along better genes. 

By now you’ve probably heard how important it is for a woman to have a healthy lifestyle before and during pregnancy. However, according to a new study, dad’s diet and exercise habits could have an impact on the child’s DNA, too.

“This study was done both through Ohio State and the Joslin Diabetes Center. What we wanted to look at was how the paternal side of things could influence offspring into adulthood,” said Kristin Stanford, study author.

Researchers split male mice into four groups: Two were fed high fat diets, and two got normal diets. Within those groups, some were sedentary, and some were free to exercise. The result? Both sets of mice that exercised, no matter their diet, had healthier offspring.

“What was really interesting to us is that we saw the effects of the paternal exercise in both the male and female offspring. And we saw that it really improved glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity, and decrease fat mass in the female offspring in particular, really throughout their lifespan,” said Stanford. 

You don’t have to join Crossfit for a year before starting a family. Becoming more active just one month before conception can make a difference.

“As long as their exercising and going for a 30 minute jog or a 30 minute walk, kind of moving more than normal, we’re seeing some of these same effects,” said Stanford. 

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