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Obstet Gynecol. 1997 Jan;89(1):10-5.

Effects of a partially home-based exercise program for women with gestational diabetes.

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Nurse-Midwifery Program, University of Minnesota, School of Nursing, Minneapolis, USA.



To examine the effectiveness of a partially home-based, moderate-intensity aerobic exercise program for women with gestational diabetes.


This was a randomized experimental design. Thirty-three women with gestational diabetes were randomly assigned to the exercise or the no-exercise group. Subjects underwent hemoglobin A1C assay and submaximal cycle ergometer fitness tests at baseline and at study conclusion. Subjects kept diaries of home fasting and 2-hour postprandial blood glucose determinations. Exercise subjects were asked to exercise for 30 minutes three to four times weekly at 70% of estimated maximal heart rate for the weeks of study participation. Two exercise sessions weekly were supervised by the investigator, and two were unsupervised at home. Control-group subjects were asked to maintain their current activity level.


Daily fasting and postprandial blood glucose levels, hemoglobin A1C, incidence of exogenous insulin therapy, and incidence of newborn hypoglycemia were not different between the groups. There was a training effect in the exercise group (P = .005) but not in the control group (P = .25). A significant decline in daily grams of carbohydrate consumed was observed in the control group (P = .03), but not in the exercise group (P = .97). No complications were found in the subjects who exercised.


A partially home-based exercise program did not reduce blood glucose levels, but did result in a modest increase in cardiorespiratory fitness. The intervention appeared safe.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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