How can exercise help in Gestational Diabetes?

How can exercise help in Gestational Diabetes?

Exercise plays a crucial role in managing gestational diabetes and positively impacts both the mother's and the baby's health. Here's how exercise can help:


Managing Blood Sugar Levels:

  • Glucose Uptake: During exercise, muscles become more efficient at absorbing glucose from the bloodstream, leading to lower blood sugar levels.
  • Insulin Sensitivity: Exercise improves how your body uses insulin, the hormone responsible for driving glucose into cells, further aiding in blood sugar control.


Additional Benefits:

  • Reduced Risk of Complications: Lower blood sugar levels can significantly reduce the risk of pregnancy complications like macrosomia (large baby), preeclampsia, and cesarean section.
  • Maintaining a Healthy Weight Gain: Exercise promotes healthy weight gain during pregnancy, reducing the risk of excessive weight gain linked to complications.
  • Improved Mood and Energy Levels: Exercise can uplift mood, boost energy levels, and combat pregnancy fatigue commonly experienced with gestational diabetes.
  • Enhanced Sleep Quality: Regular physical activity can contribute to better sleep, crucial for overall health and well-being during pregnancy.
  • Reduced Risk of Future Diabetes: Studies suggest that women with well-managed gestational diabetes through exercise are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life.

Safe Exercises for Gestational Diabetes:


  • Low-impact activities: Walking, swimming, yoga, prenatal pilates, and stationary cycling are excellent options.
  • Moderate intensity: Aim for exercises that make you feel warm and slightly breathless, but not straining.
  • Listen to your body: Start gradually, increase activity duration and intensity progressively, and take rest breaks when needed.
  • Monitor blood sugar: Check your blood sugar before, during, and after exercise to monitor its effect and adjust your routine accordingly.



  • Pregnant women should always speak with their doctor before beginning a new fitness regimen.
  • Choose activities you enjoy and find comfortable.
  • Stay hydrated and avoid exercising in extreme heat or humidity.
  • Discontinue activity if you experience any discomfort or dizziness.
  • Regular exercise, combined with a healthy diet and proper medical guidance, can be a powerful tool in managing gestational diabetes and ensuring a healthy pregnancy for both mother and baby.


 The Science Behind the Benefits:

  • Glucose Uptake: During exercise, your muscles become more sensitive to insulin, allowing them to absorb glucose from the bloodstream more efficiently. This results in lower blood sugar levels after exercise.
  • Improved Insulin Sensitivity: Regular physical activity makes your body's cells more responsive to insulin. This means your body needs less insulin to keep blood sugar levels in check.


Exercise and its Positive Impact:

Reduced Risk of Pregnancy Complications: Gestational diabetes can increase the risk of various pregnancy complications like macrosomia (large baby), preeclampsia, and cesarean section. Maintaining good blood sugar control through exercise can significantly reduce these risks.


By Dr.Bharti Bansiwal (Physiotherapist)