With few exceptions, moderate physical activity is an important component of a healthy pregnancy. In the case of a woman...
With few exceptions, moderate physical activity is an important component of a healthy pregnancy. In the case of a woman who has been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, physical activity becomes even more important because it helps your body to function better overall which helps to control blood sugar levels. Research is inconclusive regarding the best types of exercise for a woman with gestational diabetes. The proper amount is variable compared to how active you were pre-pregnancy and if you have any other current health concerns. Your care provider will discuss how much exercise and what types of physical activity are best for you. However, there are some general guidelines you can follow:
  • Watch your exertion. If you can't talk easily, cough, or gasp for air, you have exceeded safe exertion levels. If this happens, slow down or stop for a while. Plus mention it to your care provider at your next visit.
  • Drink plenty of water before, during, and after each exercise session.
  • Pregnancy is not the best time for horseback riding or skydiving. Choose an activity that does not require too much standing or balance. Swimming is a great one.
  • If you feel faint, dizzy, or very hot stop exercising immediately. You can take a day off if you feel like it. When you're feeling up to exercise and alert you're more like to listen to your body signals.
  • Never exercise when you're hungry. I know; illogical advice for most pregnant women. When are you not hungry? Still, eat a light snack, wait a bit, than have some fun activity.
  • Speaking of fun activities... Recent studies show that sex doesn't equal quite as much calorie burning, fitness inducing exercise as we've thought in the past. By all means, if you're having a frisky pregnancy, indulge. Just don't be like my girlfriend (who shall remain nameless) and get all of your pregnancy exercise this way. Yoga can be fun too!
Do you have a favorite pregnancy exercise? Let me and other P&B readers know about it. Some of these tips adapted from The National Institute of Health.

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