Don't want weight gain & diabetes during pregnancy? Exercise!

Pregnant Women are often told to rest a lot and avoid physical activity. But a new study shows that working out or some physical activity during pregnancy is important for maintaining good health. Exercising during pregnancy wards off gestational diabetes and weight gain, the most common problems during pregnancy.

What is gestational diabetes?

Pregnant women who are not diabetic before but, who have high blood sugar levels during pregnancy are said to have gestational diabetes. It increases the risk of women suffering from other complication like pre-eclampsia, hypertension, preterm birth, and with induced or caesarean birth. Read about 5 simple steps to prevent gestational diabetes

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How was the study conducted?

The researchers from Spain studied the results of exercise programmes in which healthy pregnant women who did little or no exercise were enrolled. (Read :Weight gain during pregnancy -- what's good and what's not)

What did the study find?

It was found that women who exercised throughout during pregnancy, the risk of gestational diabetes was reduced by more than 30 % and the risk was further reduced for women who combined toning, strength, flexibility and aerobic exercise.

Exercise also reduced excess weight gain, and women who exercised regularly were on an average a kilogram lighter.

Is exercising during pregnancy harmful?

According to the lead author, Gema Sanabria- Martinez, from Virgen de la Luz Hospital, exercise during pregnancy need not be feared as it only moderate exercise during the study showed positive effects on health and was safe for both the mother and the baby.

However, Mike Marsh Deputy Editor-in-chief of BJOG the journal in which the study is published explained that analysis of previous studies shows that exercise during pregnancy is beneficial in women who regularly did little or no exercise. He explained that this study might help doctors to prescribe exercise during pregnancy.

The study is published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Image source: Getty images

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