- Blood Sugar and Exercise
- Understanding Your Blood Sugar and Exercise
- Hypoglycemia and Physical Activity
- Follow the 15-15 rule:
- Gestational Diabetes and Exercise
- Exercise to manage Gestational Diabetes
- What is Gestational Diabetes?
- How does Exercise help manage Gestational Diabetes?
- What is the best type of Exercise?
- Things to consider
- The effect of exercise on the prevention of gestational diabetes in obese and overweight pregnant women: a systematic review and meta-analysis
- Gestational Diabetes Is Not Prevented By Exercise and Diet
- Gestational Diabetes and Pregnancy | CDC
- Problems of Gestational Diabetes in Pregnancy
- An Extra Large Baby
- C-Section (Cesarean Section)
- High Blood Pressure (Preeclampsia)
- Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia)
- 5 Tips for Women with Gestational Diabetes
- More Information
- Can exercise, for women with gestational diabetes, improve outcomes for mother and her baby?
- Exercising with Gestational Diabetes
- Why do women with gestational diabetes need to exercise?
- How much exercise should I be getting?
- Avoiding hypoglycemia
- Blood sugar levels
- Does exercising while pregnant harm the baby (or the mother)?
- What are some good (and bad) exercises for women with gestational diabetes?
Blood Sugar and Exercise
There are a few ways that exercise lowers blood sugar:
- Insulin sensitivity is increased, so your muscle cells are better able to use any available insulin to take up glucose during and after activity.
- When your muscles contract during activity, your cells are able to take up glucose and use it for energy whether insulin is available or not.
This is how exercise can help lower blood sugar in the short term. And when you are active on a regular basis, it can also lower your A1C.
Understanding Your Blood Sugar and Exercise
The effect physical activity has on your blood sugar will vary depending on how long you are active and many other factors. Physical activity can lower your blood sugar up to 24 hours or more after your workout by making your body more sensitive to insulin.
Become familiar with how your blood sugar responds to exercise. Checking your blood sugar level more often before and after exercise can help you see the benefits of activity. You also can use the results of your blood sugar checks to see how your body reacts to different activities. Understanding these patterns can help you prevent your blood sugar from going too high or too low.
Hypoglycemia and Physical Activity
People taking insulin or insulin secretagogues (oral diabetes pills that cause your pancreas to make more insulin) are at risk for hypoglycemia if insulin dose or carbohydrate intake is not adjusted with exercise.
Checking your blood sugar before doing any physical activity is important to prevent hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
Talk to your diabetes care team (doctor, nurse, dietitian or pharmacist) to find out if you are at risk for hypoglycemia.
If you experience hypoglycemia during or after exercise, treat it immediately:
Follow the 15-15 rule:
1. Check your blood sugar.
2. If your reading is 100 mg/dL or lower, have 15-20 grams of carbohydrate to raise your blood sugar. This may be:
4 glucose tablets (4 grams per tablet), or
1 glucose gel tube (15 grams per gel tube), or
4 ounces (1/2 cup) of juice or regular soda (not diet), or
1 tablespoon of sugar or honey
3. Check your blood sugar again after 15 minutes. If it is still below 100 mg/dL, have another serving of 15 grams of carbohydrate.
4. Repeat these steps every 15 minutes until your blood sugar is at least 100 mg/dL.
If you want to continue your workout, you will usually need to take a break to treat your low blood sugar. Check to make sure your blood sugar has come back up above 100 mg/dl before starting to exercise again.
Keep in mind that low blood sugar can occur during or long after physical activity. It is more ly to occur if you:
- Take insulin or an insulin secretagogue
- Skip meals
- Exercise for a long time
- Exercise strenuously
If hypoglycemia interferes with your exercise routine, talk to your healthcare provider about the best treatment plan for you.
Your provider may suggest eating a small snack before you exercise or they may make an adjustment to your medication(s).
For people engaging in long duration exercise, a combination of these two regimen changes may be necessary to prevent hypoglycemia during and after exercise.
Gestational Diabetes and Exercise
Gestational Diabetes (GDM) is diagnosed when higher-thannormal blood glucose levels(BGLs) appear during pregnancy. It usually develops around weeks 24 to 28 when it is detected by an oral glucose tolerance test, however GDM is temporary and the mother’s BGLs normalise after the pregnancy.
The release of hormones produced by the placenta for the baby’s growth and development causes GDM. These hormones block the action of the mother’s insulin, resulting in insulin resistance. When pregnant, the mother’s need for insulin also doublesor triples, placing further strain on the body’s ability to produce insulin.
Although BGLs normalise after pregnancy, GDM identifies the mother at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future if she again develops insulin resistance.
Although a healthy lifestyle can lower the risk of developing GDM, there areother risk factors and not all can be helped in late pregnancy:
- being over 30 years of age
- overweight or obese
- a certain ethnicity
- having a family history of type 2 diabetes
- gestational diabetes in previous pregnancies, some women have GDM in one pregnancy but not in others.
Many women with GDM are often unsure about which exercise is safe for them and their baby during pregnancy. Always check with your obstetrician if you are clear to exercise but here are some safety guidelines:
- Exercise at moderate levels, until you are puffing but not speechless.
- Exercise often – especially if diagnosed with GDM. Your insulin sensitivity increases for up to 24–48 hours after exercise. If you feel especially fatigued, nauseous or physically limited during pregnancy, walk just 10 minutes three times a day.
- Exercise safely. Choose an activity with lower risk of injury, especially if youhave GDM.
- Maintain your exercise levels but expect your capacity to change – if you have been active prior to pregnancy, modify your regular program.
- Be sensible – if you have not been a regular exerciser, take a more cautious but consistent approach of regular activity and increase your levels slowly.
Exercise in Pregnancy
It is important to include some exercise during pregnancy while also eating low-GI food and taking any prescribed diabetes medicines. Exercise improves insulin sensitivity and helps keep your BGL stable but also provides general health benefits –better sleep, improved fitness for birth and nursing, improved mood and faster return to fitness.
If you haven't been physically active before pregnancy, then aiming to become incredibly fit during pregnancy is unrealistic. Your physicalactivity should help you become fitter than if you hadn’t exercised in pregnancy, and keep your BGLs more stable in the process!
Some safe exercise options are:
Swimming or water aerobics
A great cardio workout for maintaining muscle strength without impact/loading on joints
Pregnancy safe yoga
Not all postures in yoga are okay in pregnancy, so make sure the instructor knows you’re pregnant and adjusts the postures you perform
You can learn more about what happens to your body during pregnancy and meet other expecting mums.
With or without hills
A stationary bike is best, especially in later stages when your balance changes. Be careful with continued pressure on your pelvic, which can create pelvic girdle pain.
Even if it is simply lifting yourself a chair. It maintains muscle mass, protects joints and can be modified for any stage of pregnancy. Again, stick to moderate intensity.
Exercising with GDM
If you are using insulin to manage your BGLs, remember that you are at more risk of a hypoglycaemic event or a ‘hypo’.
This is where your BGLs fall too low, say below 4 mmol, and you start to feel unwell – dizzy, confused, sweaty and fatigued. Check with your endocrinologist about chances of a hypo if you are on glucose-lowering medication.
Unfortunately these signs and symptoms are similar to those of exercise, which can make it hard to realise that you are having a hypo.
If you are taking insulin, try these simple steps to avoid a hypo:
- avoid exercising in the peak insulin action. Exercise is an insulin sensitiser, so can boost the impact of your insulin dose
- avoid injecting in the muscles you are exercising
- check your BGL 30 minutes pre-exercise. If it’s near 5, you may need to eat a little carbohydrate to avoid a hypo post-exercise
- check your BGL after exercise and again if you feel unwell
- stick to moderate-intensity exercise
- if you are commencing an new exercise program, go with a buddy who can keep an eye on you, or tell the instructor.
Every pregnancy is different, even for the same woman. Some involve extreme fatigue, others extreme nausea, insomnia, back/pelvic pain, heartburn, reflux and many more symptoms. The exercise you choose can be determined by some of them.
Expect your exercise capacity to change over the course of the pregnancy, so do what feels moderate on that day. Exercise is to get your BGLs under control and feel good about yourself, not make super-fit!
Above all, listen to your body – it’ll tell you if you are doing too much.
Christine Armarego ESSAM, MAppSci (Ergonomics), MAppSci (Rehab), is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and Manager of The Glucose Club
This article was originally published in Conquest magazine published by Health Publishing Australia
Conquest Magazine, Health Publishing Australia
Exercise to manage Gestational Diabetes
As our lifestyles change and women have children at a later age the prevalence of Gestational Diabetes has risen. Currently 68 Australian women are diagnosed every day.
There are many treatment options available including dietary changes implemented by an Accredited Dietitian and regular exercise prescribed by an Accredited Exercise Physiologist. Regular exercise can help manage blood sugar levels, and improve the health and well being of both mum and bubs.
Never fear, this exercise doesn’t have to be hours in a gym, it can be as gentle as a daily walk!
What is Gestational Diabetes?
Gestational Diabetes is typically tested for at 24 – 28 weeks gestation. For the test the mother usually has blood samples taken before and after a sugary drink being consumed.
Gestational Diabetes is diagnosed when the mothers blood sugar levels are too high before the sugary drink is consumed (fasted blood sugar level >5.
1mmol) or too high 2 hours after the drink has been consumed (blood sugar level >8.5mmol).
Try to imagine insulin is a key, floating through the blood stream, unlocking doors to allow sugar to enter the cells. During pregnancy the placenta releases hormones which reduce the mother’s sensitivity to insulin, so the key no longer goes in to the door as easily as it did before.
This means her placenta must release more insulin to allow sugar to enter the cells around her body.
Gestational Diabetes occurs when the mother’s pancreas is unable to release enough insulin (keys) to get all the sugar in to her cells (through the door), which increases the amount of sugar floating around in her blood.
If not properly controlled, this additional sugar will instead go to baby resulting in a heavier birth weight and placing stress on the baby’s developing pancreas.
How does Exercise help manage Gestational Diabetes?
Exercise helps manage Gestational Diabetes by increasing the number of doors available for the insulin keys to fit in. This subsequently increases the amount of sugar which can be burned by cells.
Exercise also helps reduce blood sugar levels through the additional energy expended during the exercise and in the hours after exercise which further assists in reducing blood sugar levels.
What is the best type of Exercise?
The ideal exercise program is something you can complete most days of the week. An Accredited Exercise Physiologist can create an individualised exercise program, including a mix of both aerobic exercise and strength training.
Options include walking, swimming, light weights training, body weight exercises and Pilates. Daily pelvic floor strengthening exercises are also an important inclusion for all pregnant women.
For optimal results you should aim to complete aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes 5 days per week, and 8 – 12 different strength exercises 3 days per week. These strength exercises should target major muscles all over the body.
Things to consider
- Always check with your obstetrician or midwife prior to beginning a new exercise program
- Always seek guidance from an Accredited Exercise Physiologist for exercise prescription
- Speak to your obstetrician, midwife or diabetes educator for guidance on exercise timing if you are taking insulin medications
References: Queensland Clinical Guidelines: Gestational Diabetes Mellitus 2015, Better Health Channel – Diabetes Gestational
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Gestational Diabetes Is Not Prevented By Exercise and Diet
Gestational diabetes (GD) is the development of diabetes during pregnancy. For those afflicted, it is a significant problem for these women and the children they carry. The mothers are seven times more ly to develop Type 2 diabetes, and the children “exposed” in utero have a greater lifetime risk of weight problems, obesity, and Type 2 diabetes.
Our epidemiologic data suggest that GD is Type 2 diabetes, frequently with the same underlying bad behaviors: unhealthy foods and a sedentary lifestyle, and too many calories being taken in, with too few going out. To reduce the risk to those mothers who partake in such behavior, physicians begin with “eat better and exercise more.” How is that advice working out?
Early, preliminary studies demonstrated that reducing weight made a therapeutic difference.
But when scaled up to large groups living in the real world, those injunctions about eating and exercise were ineffective despite good adherence and patients actually doing what was asked of them. Weight gain was reduced, however, gestational diabetes was not prevented.
So blaming the patients is not the answer. Is the belief by physicians –– that gestational diabetes can be prevented by avoiding too many calories with too little energy expenditure –– wrong?
A small, well-performed, observational study reported in Cell Metabolism reconsiders the belief about calories, both in and out. It is a small study because it was rigorously objective in its measurements.
No self-reports here. Energy intake was measured by summing daily energy expenditures, measured using doubly-labeled water and changing body energy composition. Calorie intake was a food photography methodology.
Of the 62 women, 9 developed gestational diabetes over the 12 weeks of observation (during the second trimester).
There was no difference in energy intake or expenditure, nor was there a difference in the calories or macro-nutritional composition of their meals as compared to the women not affected.
Physical activity measured with calorimetry and accelerometry (a scientific way of describing a FitBit- device) did not differ between those who did and did not develop gestational diabetes. And weight gain, in a sense, the summation of all these factors also did not vary. So what did?
The women who developed gestational diabetes tended to be heavier with more visceral fat, but that was not statistically significant.
But those affected women more often had first-degree relatives with diabetes, a significantly higher fasting glucose and HbA1c – there was a greater incidence of “pre-diabetes” in these women.
And it was identifiable in the first trimester. For those so inclined, it would suggest an inherited aspect to GD.
I say “inherited” because diabetes does not seem to be simply a genetic problem, but it involves “lifestyle” and perhaps some epigenetic alterations. Bottom line: gestational diabetes is not one disease; at least three distinct phenotypes have been identified. Simply being overweight or obese is not a good definition of risk, while alterations in glucose metabolism are far better.
Several consequences flow from this conclusion. First and most immediate, identifying those women at risk for GD should not be an eye-ball screening of weight. Instead, it requires an investigation of glucose metabolism. Weight is not a risk factor –– it is the consequence.
Second, the problem of glucose dysfunction is more widespread than we think, since after all it's clinically silent. There are many individuals who when stressed, by an acute illness or surgery, will demonstrate their glucose dysregulation.
They're difficult to identify because they are clinically silent when feeling well, their dysregulation –– that of the women with gestational diabetes –– requires some additional stress. Some studies have shown that elevated blood sugars result in increased morbidity and mortality in hospitalized patients.
Perhaps a more aggressive attempt to identify these patients could reduce those numbers.
Finally, while the idea of a mismatch in calories and energy expenditure contributing to diabetes is intuitively correct, it is not a panacea. Don’t stop exercising and your diet should be guided by moderation. And remember, while both actions are necessary, neither is sufficient on its own.
 Let me take a run at explaining double-labeled water, which refers to water molecules with a slightly heavier form of hydrogen (deuterium) and oxygen 18. The only way for deuterium to leave our body is as water, occurring when we urinate or sweat.
We can use that difference to determine how much oxygen left the body as urine and how much left the body as carbon dioxide. The only source of carbon dioxide is from our food, so knowing our carbon dioxide produced and subsequently lost tells us how much energy we are expending.
As for food photography, the images can be compared in a computer application to determine the contained macronutrients – not exact but a lot more reliable than self-reports.
Source: Is Energy Balance in Pregnancy Involved in the Etiology of Gestational Diabetes in Women with Obesity? Cell Metabolism DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2018.12.002
Gestational Diabetes and Pregnancy | CDC
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that is first seen in a pregnant woman who did not have diabetes before she was pregnant. Some women have more than one pregnancy affected by gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes usually shows up in the middle of pregnancy. Doctors most often test for it between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.
Often gestational diabetes can be controlled through eating healthy foods and regular exercise. Sometimes a woman with gestational diabetes must also take insulin.
Problems of Gestational Diabetes in Pregnancy
Blood sugar that is not well controlled in a woman with gestational diabetes can lead to problems for the pregnant woman and the baby:
An Extra Large Baby
Diabetes that is not well controlled causes the baby’s blood sugar to be high. The baby is “overfed” and grows extra large.
Besides causing discomfort to the woman during the last few months of pregnancy, an extra large baby can lead to problems during delivery for both the mother and the baby.
The mother might need a C-Section to deliver the baby. The baby can be born with nerve damage due to pressure on the shoulder during delivery.
C-Section (Cesarean Section)
A C-section is an operation to deliver the baby through the mother’s belly. A woman who has diabetes that is not well controlled has a higher chance of needing a C-section to deliver the baby. When the baby is delivered by a C-section, it takes longer for the woman to recover from childbirth.
High Blood Pressure (Preeclampsia)
When a pregnant woman has high blood pressure, protein in her urine, and often swelling in fingers and toes that doesn’t go away, she might have preeclampsia. It is a serious problem that needs to be watched closely and managed by her doctor.
High blood pressure can cause harm to both the woman and her unborn baby. It might lead to the baby being born early and also could cause seizures or a stroke (a blood clot or a bleed in the brain that can lead to brain damage) in the woman during labor and delivery.
Women with diabetes have high blood pressure more often than women without diabetes.
Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia)
People with diabetes who take insulin or other diabetes medications can develop blood sugar that is too low. Low blood sugar can be very serious, and even fatal, if not treated quickly. Seriously low blood sugar can be avoided if women watch their blood sugar closely and treat low blood sugar early.
If a woman’s diabetes was not well controlled during pregnancy, her baby can very quickly develop low blood sugar after birth. The baby’s blood sugar must be watched for several hours after delivery.
5 Tips for Women with Gestational Diabetes
- Exercise Regularly
Exercise is another way to keep blood sugar under control. It helps to balance food intake. After checking with your doctor, you can exercise regularly during and after pregnancy. Get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity at least five days a week. This could be brisk walking, swimming, or actively playing with children.
Learn more about physical activity during pregnancy »
- Monitor Blood Sugar Often
Because pregnancy causes the body’s need for energy to change, blood sugar levels can change very quickly. Check your blood sugar often, as directed by your doctor.
- Take Insulin, If Needed
Sometimes a woman with gestational diabetes must take insulin.
If insulin is ordered by your doctor, take it as directed in order to help keep blood sugar under control.
- Get Tested for Diabetes after Pregnancy
Get tested for diabetes 6 to 12 weeks after your baby is born, and then every 1 to 3 years.For most women with gestational diabetes, the diabetes goes away soon after delivery.
When it does not go away, the diabetes is called type 2 diabetes. Even if the diabetes does go away after the baby is born, half of all women who had gestational diabetes develop type 2 diabetes later. It’s important for a woman who has had gestational diabetes to continue to exercise and eat a healthy diet after pregnancy to prevent or delay getting type 2 diabetes.
She should also remind her doctor to check her blood sugar every 1 to 3 years.
Gestational Diabetes and Pregnancy pdf icon[PDF – 1 MB]
View, download, and print this brochure about gestational diabetes and pregnancy.
For more information on gestational diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Association’s websiteexternal icon.
Can exercise, for women with gestational diabetes, improve outcomes for mother and her baby?
What is the issue?
A previous Cochrane review on Exercise for diabetic pregnant women included women with pre-existing diabetes and women with gestational diabetes. That review has now been split into two new reviews on: exercise for pregnant women with gestational diabetes (this review) and exercise for pregnant women with pre-existing diabetes (the subject of another new review).
There will be similarities in the background, methods and outcomes between these two systematic reviews.
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), or diabetes during pregnancy, has both short- and long-term complications for the mother and her baby.
Women with GDM are at an increased chance of developing high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia during pregnancy, having their labour induced, giving birth by caesarean section, and experiencing perineal trauma. In the long term, up to half of women with GDM are ly to develop type 2 diabetes.
Their babies are at increased risk of being born large-for-gestational age, experiencing a birth injury and being admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit. They are also more ly to develop metabolic syndrome in childhood and later life.
Why is this important?
Exercise may help to control blood sugar levels and improve outcomes for the mother and her baby, possibly leading to long-term health benefits. Physical activity for this review is planned, structured and repetitive body movements undertaken to improve physical fitness.
What evidence did we find?
We searched for evidence from randomised controlled trials in August 2016. We identified 11 trials that involved 638 pregnant women. They were conducted in middle-or high-income countries.
We judged the overall risk of bias in the trials as unclear because of a lack of information about how the trials were conducted. Using GRADE, the quality of the evidence from the trials ranged from high to low quality.
The main reasons for downgrading the quality were for risk of bias in the trials and imprecise effect sizes, low event rates and small numbers of participants.
For the mothers, exercising did not appear to reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia as the measure of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (two trials, 48 women, low-quality evidence), birth by caesarean section (five trials, 316 women, moderate-quality evidence), or the risk of induction of labour (one trial, 40 women, low-quality evidence). The mothers had similar body mass index at follow-up in the exercise and control groups (three trials, 254 women, high-quality evidence). Exercising was associated with lower fasting blood glucose levels (four trials) and blood glucose levels after a meal (three trials) but with variations in effect sizes between the different trials. The exercise programmes varied between trials as did their duration and whether or not they were supervised. None of the included trials reported on perineal trauma, postnatal depression or development of type 2 diabetes.
For the babies, no deaths occurred around the time of birth in (one trial, 19 babies, low-quality evidence) and there was no evidence of any difference in the risk of ill-health (two trials, 169 babies, moderate-quality evidence) or low blood sugar levels (one trial, 34 babies, low-quality evidence). None of the trials reported on the number of large-for-gestational-age babies or babies that went on to develop diabetes in childhood or adulthood or neurosensory disability that became apparent during childhood.
What does this mean?
Although exercise appeared to be able to lower fasting blood sugar levels and sugar levels after a meal, we did not find any differences in other outcomes for pregnant women with GDM.
The present evidence is insufficient to advise for or against women enrolling in exercise programmes.
Even if exercise does not provide any benefit during pregnancy, this change in lifestyle may persist after birth and may help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes and its long-term complications.
Pregnant women with GDM who wish to enrol in an exercise programme may wish to discuss their choice with a health professional. Further research is needed comparing one exercise intervention with another (or with a control) and reporting on both the short- and long-term outcomes (for both the mother and infant/child/adult) as listed in this review.
Exercising with Gestational Diabetes
If you develop gestational diabetes, it’s important to get plenty of exercise However, exercising during pregnancy can be a tricky balance – especially when you have gestational diabetes – and you may well have questions.
Why do women with gestational diabetes need to exercise?
Gestational diabetes occurs when your body becomes resistant to the insulin it produces during pregnancy. This happens as a result of the increased insulin demands imposed by pregnancy. When you have gestational diabetes, your blood glucose levels run higher than they normally would.
One way to lower blood glucose levels is to exercise. When we exercise, our muscles take in more glucose. When this effect wears off, our muscles remain more sensitive to insulin for some time.  The end result is lower blood glucose levels.
Along with following a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercise is an important part of managing gestational diabetes. 
How much exercise should I be getting?
If you can, aim for 30 minutes of moderate physical activity per day – that’s the ideal. If you can’t fit that into your schedule, not to worry – the important thing is that you get some exercise, even if it’s as small an activity as getting off the bus a stop early and walking the rest of the way.
If you weren’t particularly active before you got pregnant, 30 minutes per day might be a bit of a stretch. It might be more sensible to start with 15 minutes of exercise, and work your way up slowly as you feel more comfortable.
Your personal targets may be different, and your exercise targets might change during the pregnancy. Speak to your doctor about it.
The exercise you do should always be moderate, not too strenuous. Think of moderate exercise as the kind that leaves you slightly breath, with a faster heart rate, and sweating.
Different types and durations of exercise can have different effects on blood glucose levels The specifics can be quite complicated. Generally speaking, moderate exercise does not raise blood glucose levels, it lowers them. If you are on certain glucose-lowering medications such as insulin, for example, prolonged moderate exercise can cause hypoglycemia
If you take any medication to lower your blood glucose levels, speak to your doctor. They can tell you if you are at risk of hypoglycemia.
Blood sugar levels
Strenuous exercise can raise blood glucose levels in the short term, because the body may release stored glucose to keep up with the body’s heightened demand for energy. In most cases, blood sugar levels should back down during or shortly after exercise, unless you exercised in a very short burst.
The only way to know for sure is by trial and error. Test your blood glucose levels before and after you exercise. If you have high blood glucose levels after exercising, you can decrease the intensity of the exercise next time, and maybe increase the duration. 
For example, you may spend 15 minutes jogging on a treadmill, with some short, intense sprints. Afterwards, if you find that your blood glucose levels are too high, this is ly to be because the sprints are too intense. To prevent high blood glucose levels, you could try cutting out the sprints, and increasing the duration of your jogging to 30 minutes.
Test your blood and try things out. Eventually you’ll find an exercise regimen that works for you.
Does exercising while pregnant harm the baby (or the mother)?
Moderate exercise certainly doesn’t. Many people think that strenuous exercise can harm the baby, but most studies indicate that it doesn’t.  Of course, certain activities aren’t suitable for pregnant women – you can read about this a little further down the page.
In most cases, exercise won’t harm the mother, either. In fact, it should make her healthier. Strenuous exercise, however, puts a lot more strain on a woman’s heart while she’s pregnant. This is because women have more blood in their bodies when they’re carrying a baby, so the heart has to pump more of it during exercise.
What are some good (and bad) exercises for women with gestational diabetes?
Aerobic exercises are good for women with gestational diabetes. That includes:
- Stationary cycling
30 minutes per day of any of these activities should raise your heart rate and leave you sweating.
Exercise that strengthens your stomach can prevent backache as your baby grows. Many activities, however, are not suitable for pregnant women.
- Exercises that involve lying down on your back, particularly after 16 weeks
- Contact sports, especially martial arts
- Any sports that involve a high risk of falling. Pregnancy changes your centre of gravity, and that affects your balance. Avoid exercises that involve a high risk of falling. That includes any sports that involve a lot of changes in directio, such as badminton and tennis
- Scuba diving
Speak to your doctor about exercising with gestational diabetes. With their help, you can work out an exercise regimen that’s right for you.