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Can J Appl Physiol. 1997 Aug;22(4):384-93.

Glycogen storage in fetuses of trained pregnant rats.

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  • 1Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, University of Western Ontario, London.


The purpose was to determine if running 30 m/min on a 10 degrees incline, 60 min/day for 5 days/ week altered fetal glycogen storage in prepregnancy trained rats. Animals that exercised for 3 weeks prior to pregnancy either continued the same exercise program until Day 19 of gestation (pregnant running group [PR]), or ceased exercising at conception (pregnant controls [PC]). A separate set of animals did not exercise either before or during pregnancy (pregnant nonrunning control group [PNRC]). On Day 20 of gestation, fetal organs and placenta were weighted and analyzed for glycogen concentration. Glycogen concentrations were not different in either fetal liver, heart, or placenta of PR rats compared to PNRC animals. However, fetal liver glycogen concentration was significantly lower in the fetal heart and liver of PC animals compared to glycogen measured in both PNRC and PR animals (p < .05). These results suggest that exercise of this intensity does not compromise fetal glycogen storage in trained pregnant rats. However, chronic prepregnancy exercise and then abrupt cessation of exercise at conception may compromise fetal growth and development.

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