5 simple rules of Exercise plan/ regimen for GDM (Gestational Diabetes Mellitus) or pregnant women with Diabetes:
Exercise is one of the three treatment options of GDM (Gestational Diabetes Mellitus) patients or pregnant women with Diabetes (DIP). Other options include MNT (Medical Nutrition Therapy) and medications(Metformin/Insulin).
Exercise helps to lay off extra glucose from the blood, decrease insulin resistance, and reduce the dose of medications. It keeps your body fit and healthy. At least 20-30 minutes of moderate physical activity/day is recommended all through the pregnancy even in the third trimester also.
Follow the simple Rule of Fives:-
1. Start slowly and steadily:- Don’t start exercising heavily from the first day or for a long duration. Start with minimal stretching exercise for 10 minutes duration per day, then gradually increase to a maximum 30 min of exercise. Ask your doctor for further advice on how to adopt a skill-full exercise regimen in pregnancy to burn out your calories.
2. Take care of your abdomen:- Don’t do such exercises which may hurt your baby or your body. Walking, Stationary cycling, doing house-hold work should be best for a pregnant woman.
3. Check your blood sugar regularly:- Exercise may decrease your blood sugar especially if you are taking insulin for controlling your blood glucose. So, use glucometer before or after exercise to monitor your sugar level. Take lozenges, candy, sweet, or any carbohydrate-containing material for immediate relief. Consult your doctor for further advice. Don’t indulge in any such exhaustive session which makes you breathless or too-tired during or after work-out.
4. Stop Exercising if any problem:- If you feel any discomfort (like Abdominal pain, water coming out of the vagina, feeling sick, nausea-vomiting, muscle pain shortness of breath, sweating, palpitation, black-out) while exercising, stop immediately and seek medical advice. Exercise extreme caution during advanced stages of pregnancy while doing work-out.
5. Don’t take heavy meals or Insulin just before or after Exercise:- Insulin has a great impact on your blood sugar level as well as your daily meal intake. Take light snacks before and after exercise. Take advice of your doctor regarding timings and dose & nature of Insulin that suits you perfectly.
Remember, these are general criteria for a pregnant woman with diabetes to follow exercise regimen. However, an individualized approach to every single diabetic mother is very much needed as per their own health condition. Seek medical advice promptly and immediately in case of any untoward situation. Always consult your doctor and follow his/ her advise for your optimum health benefit.