Pregnancy is a wonderful phase in a woman’s life. The nine months of carrying a baby in the womb and seeing it grow are miraculous. But gestation is not easy. It comes with various hurdles that pregnant women have to cross for healthy pregnancy and delivery. Gestational diabetes is one of them. It is a concerning issue as over 10% of women gets gestational diabetes during pregnancy. But, it is very much preventable by taking the right measures. A study has found that exercising in the first trimester can prevent women from developing gestational diabetes.
Gestational diabetes is not only linked to high blood sugar during pregnancy but many other health complications are also associated with gestational diabetes. Besides increasing the risk of diabetes in the baby, gestational diabetes may also cause miscarriage or stillbirth. Thus, pregnant women are advised to take maximum care of their health to avoid developing gestational diabetes.
Importance of exercise to prevent gestational diabetes
As per the study published in the journal ‘Diabetes Care’, the University of Tennessee in the United States conducted a study on gestational diabetes and its risk. The research team found that pregnant women who are physically active especially in their first trimester are at lesser risk of gestational diabetes. Low or moderate exercising for 40 minutes daily can cut down diabetes risk during pregnancy.
Samantha Ehrlich, assistant professor in the Department of Public Health at the University of Tennessee led this research. She said, “We know that exercise is safe and beneficial for healthy pregnant women. These results show that exercise is helpful in avoiding gestational diabetes, though you might need to do a little bit more than currently recommended to enjoy that benefit.”
How was the study conducted?
An observational study was conducted where pregnant women were asked to record and submit their daily exercise hours. Around 2,200 expecting mothers submitted their responses. It was then found that exercising 38-40 minutes daily reduced the risk of gestational diabetes.
“We know that six to 10 women per 100 get gestational diabetes. If being more active could reduce that by two women per 100, that’s a clear benefit,” Samantha Ehrlich said.
Women must stay physically active during pregnancy. Light exercises like brisk walking, yoga, meditation, etc. can be easily done without exerting out. This keeps the body moving, prevent excess pregnancy weight gain and keep gestational diabetes at bay.
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