How exercise during pregnancy can deter diabetes
The benefits of exercise are endless, and now there is good news for women diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy who keep a regular fitness regimen.
Nearly 18 percent of pregnant women are diagnosed with gestational diabetes. The likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes increases seven times as they age, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But according to new research, there is positive news for women to reduce their risk of the onset of Type 2 diabetes with regular exercise.
Gestational diabetes occurs when a woman, who has never had diabetes, develops high blood sugar levels while her pregnancy hormones prevent her body to use insulin appropriately.
The study, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, evaluated more than 116,000 women, ages 25-44 over a 10 year period. Researchers found that a woman’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes can be reduced by 9 percent for every two hours of light activity performed each week. These activities can include walking, gardening or other moderate exercise. The study also reported that when 2.5 hours or more of weekly mild activity were added, the risk is reduced significantly more, by 47 percent.
“We found that women who increased physical activity after gestational diabetes had the lowest risk of developing Type 2 diabetes,” said Dr. Cuilin Zhang, lead author of the study, in a statement to CNN.
The women all take part in one of the leading women’s health surveys, The Nurses’ Health Study, which is a questionnaire received twice a year. The researchers of this study said they paid most attention to lifestyle changes women made post-pregnancy.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends a minimum of 2.5 hours a week of exercise for adults to receive health benefits.
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