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Review

Exercise as a Therapeutic Intervention in Gestational Diabetes Mellitus

1
Laboratory of Exercise Physiology and Biochemistry, Department of Physical Education and Sports Science at Serres, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 621 22 Serres, Greece
2
Unit of Reproductive Endocrinology, First Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, “Papageorgiou” General Hospital, 56429 Thessaloniki, Greece
3
Department of Respiratory Medicine, “G. Papanikolaou” General Hospital, 57010 Exohi, Thessaloniki, Greece
4
Department of Exercise & Sport Science, Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, NC 27599-8700, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paolo Sgrò
Received: 18 February 2021 / Revised: 16 March 2021 / Accepted: 23 March 2021 / Published: 26 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise Endocrinology)
Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) is defined as any degree of glucose intolerance with onset or first recognition during pregnancy. Regular exercise is important for a healthy pregnancy and can lower the risk of developing GDM. For women with GDM, exercise is safe and can affect the pregnancy outcomes beneficially. A single exercise bout increases skeletal muscle glucose uptake, minimizing hyperglycemia. Regular exercise training promotes mitochondrial biogenesis, improves oxidative capacity, enhances insulin sensitivity and vascular function, and reduces systemic inflammation. Exercise may also aid in lowering the insulin dose in insulin-treated pregnant women. Despite these benefits, women with GDM are usually inactive or have poor participation in exercise training. Attractive individualized exercise programs that will increase adherence and result in optimal maternal and offspring benefits are needed. However, as women with GDM have a unique physiology, more attention is required during exercise prescription. This review (i) summarizes the cardiovascular and metabolic adaptations due to pregnancy and outlines the mechanisms through which exercise can improve glycemic control and overall health in insulin resistance states, (ii) presents the pathophysiological alterations induced by GDM that affect exercise responses, and (iii) highlights cardinal points of an exercise program for women with GDM. View Full-Text
Keywords: exercise endocrinology; pregnancy; exercise physiology; exercise; pregnancy endocrinology; diabetes; hormones; women’s health exercise endocrinology; pregnancy; exercise physiology; exercise; pregnancy endocrinology; diabetes; hormones; women’s health
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MDPI and ACS Style

Dipla, K.; Zafeiridis, A.; Mintziori, G.; Boutou, A.K.; Goulis, D.G.; Hackney, A.C. Exercise as a Therapeutic Intervention in Gestational Diabetes Mellitus. Endocrines 2021, 2, 65-78. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/endocrines2020007

AMA Style

Dipla K, Zafeiridis A, Mintziori G, Boutou AK, Goulis DG, Hackney AC. Exercise as a Therapeutic Intervention in Gestational Diabetes Mellitus. Endocrines. 2021; 2(2):65-78. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/endocrines2020007

Chicago/Turabian Style

Dipla, Konstantina, Andreas Zafeiridis, Gesthimani Mintziori, Afroditi K. Boutou, Dimitrios G. Goulis, and Anthony C. Hackney 2021. "Exercise as a Therapeutic Intervention in Gestational Diabetes Mellitus" Endocrines 2, no. 2: 65-78. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/endocrines2020007

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