Can Moderate Exercise Affect Gestational Diabetes Risk?

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Obese pregnant women can lower their risk for gestational diabetes with moderate exercise.
Obese pregnant women can lower their risk for gestational diabetes with moderate exercise.

(HealthDay News) — Obese pregnant women can reduce their risk of gestational diabetes and lower their blood pressure by exercising as little as 3 times a week, according to a study published online July 26 in PLOS Medicine.

For the study, 91 pregnant women were randomly placed into 1 of 2 groups. One group exercised 3 times a week under supervision, by walking at a moderate rate on a treadmill for 35 minutes and taking part in strength training for 25 minutes. The other group was given standard prenatal care.

The researchers found that 2 women in the exercise group developed gestational diabetes vs 9 women in the standard care group. In addition, the women who exercised had lower blood pressure levels shortly before giving birth. The researchers noted that not all the women in the exercise group attended all of the sessions, and the amount of exercise they did was not strenuous.

"These results indicate that supervised exercise training might be beneficial as a part of standard pregnancy care for overweight/obese women," the researchers wrote.

Reference

  1. Garnæs KK, Mørkved S, Salvesen Ø, Moholdt T. Exercise Training and Weight Gain in Obese Pregnant Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial (ETIP Trial). PLOS Med. 2016. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1002079.
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