Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation
University of Alberta
Summary of research:
Exercise has significant cardiovascular and metabolic benefits in non-pregnant populations. However, whether exercise during pregnancy can prevent or attenuate maternal vascular dysfunction related to adverse events in pregnancy is unknown. There is some evidence to suggest that exercise programs initiated prior to conception or early in the first trimester may promote placental growth and vascularity which may attenuate potential adverse fetal outcomes. As the short and long term influences of pregnancy, pregnancy-related diseases (GDM and pre-eclampsia) and exercise during pregnancy are not well understood, elucidating these mechanisms may assist in the long-term prevention of chronic disease. The primary aims of my research are to identify: 1) the mechanisms of maternal-fetal transmission of chronic disease risk, 2) whether exercise can play a role in the prevention of risk transmission, and 3) the short and long-term effects of pregnancy and exercise on maternal-fetal health. As a new member of the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation I am setting up a human research laboratory and initiating the research projects described below.