(WYTV) – A mother-to-be knows she must stay healthy during pregnancy to give birth to a healthy baby. But can dad do anything? Yes, he can! Dads can play a surprising role long before their baby’s birth.

Good fathers want to stay healthy and active for their kids. Any dad would be pleased to see his child growing up with a love for life.

“I want it to be just natural for them. I don’t want it to be a chore. I want them to just want to go outside, want to be active and enjoy life to its fullest,” said Matthew Hunt, a dad.

New research here in Ohio suggests that dads can give their children a positive boost by exercising and staying healthy before conception.

Scientists at the Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center discovered that men can easily actually pass on this good health habit. They also don’t have to exercise a lot, just moderate exercise will do to maintain good glucose and insulin levels in their children and a good weight too.

“The idea would be that if you have a dad who wants to have a child, if they would exercise maybe just a month prior to conception, that would have a really dramatic effect on their child’s life,” said Dr. Kristin Stanford with the Wexner Medical Center.

Researchers have seen real genetic changes going on here from father to son or daughter. They’re not sure why, but the kids do get a head start.

Planning a family? Be positive! After conception, mom will know what to do for herself and the baby. Dad, before conception, get on your feet and move — your kids will thank you!