Having babies can boost your athletic skills, say scientists

Being a mother can give you new sporty muscles

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Giving birth could leave women being more able to cope with demanding sporting activities than before they had children, scientists have claimed.

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For most women who have recently been through pregnancy, the thought of strenuous physical training would seem impossible. However, a US study has suggested that women should make the most of their physical and biological changes, as they could be used for athletic benefits.

Awash with hormones making your muscles stronger and with a 50% increase in blood flow enabling your heart rate to rise by 40%, your post-pregnant body could stand you in good stead when it comes to physical training, experts say. They also claim that having a break from your normal working life can give you a psychological lift when you return.

While most female sports stars don’t have children, there are a number of mums who have achieved great wins.

Paula Radcliffe won the 2007 New York marathon just over nine months after giving birth to her first child, Isla. Last month, Scottish golfer Catriona Matthew won the Women’s British Open, just 11 weeks after giving birth to her second daughter, Sophie.

Other mums in the sporting world who have achieved gold are European Championship footballer Katie Chapman, ballet dancer Darcey Bussell and Kim Clijsters, who recently won the US Open.

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So don’t worry that childbirth will close the curtains on your sporting life – it’s just the beginning…

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