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The Influence of Practising Physical Activity on the Prevention and Treatment of Gestational Diabetes: A Systematic Review


Carla Rodríguez-Martínez and Raquel Leirós-Rodríguez*   Pages 1 - 12 ( 12 )


Background: During pregnancy, maintaining an inadequate lifestyle (bad eating habits, stress, consumption of toxic substances, etc.) generates complications such as pre-eclampsia, overweight, lumbar pain and Gestational Diabetes.

Objective: This review was carried out with the objective to determine the influence of practising physical activity on the prevention and treatment of Gestational Diabetes; and to evaluate the efficacy of interventions based on therapeutic exercise in the management of such diseases.

Method: A systematic review of the publications of the last five years in Medline, Pubmed, Web of Science and Cinahl databases was conducting with the terms Exercise and Gestational Diabetes.

Results: 25 articles were found, 9 were observational studies that analysed physical activity habits through questionnaires, and other 16 applied an intervention. With respect to the frequency of the sessions, most of these studies applied their interventions three times per week, with all of them obtaining positive results. Regarding intensity, all the studies that referred to it concluded that it must be at least moderate, highlighting that, at all times, the limitations of pregnant women must be taken into account.

Conclusion: Both for the prevention and treatment of this disease, the physical activity must be performed for a minimum of three times per week, at least in moderate intensity, and must be based on aerobic, resistance and strength exercises.


Exercise, pregnancy, health, metabolism: disease management, gestational diabetes.


Functional Biology and Health Sciences Department, Faculty of Physiotherapy, University of Vigo, Pontevedra, Department of Nursing and Physical Therapy , Universidad de León

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