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The Effectiveness of Regular Exercise Programs in the Prevention of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus—A Systematic Review

Makaruk, Beata, PhD*; Galczak-Kondraciuk, Anna, MSc; Forczek, Wanda, PhD; Grantham, Weronika, MA; Charmas, Małgorzata, PhD§

Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey: May 2019 - Volume 74 - Issue 5 - p 303–312
doi: 10.1097/OGX.0000000000000673
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Importance Physical activity is recognized as one of the most important tools in the management of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).

Objective The aim of this review was to compare and analyze regular prenatal exercise programs and examine their effectiveness in the prevention of GDM.

Evidence Acquisition The following databases were used: Academic Search Complete, Health Source–Consumer Edition, Health Source–Nursing/Academic Edition, Master File Premier, MEDLINE, and SportDiscus with full text. The inclusion criteria were as follows: a randomized study, regular training program throughout pregnancy, and supervised by a prenatal activity specialist.

Results The 10 articles selected for the review were divided into 2 groups. The first group comprised 2 studies presenting successful interventions in the prevention of GDM, whereas the second group included 8 articles with no statistically significant effects of the training programs in GDM prevention. Beginning an exercise program at early stages of the pregnancy and high adherence were common features of the effective programs.

Conclusions When designing and carrying out the program, the beginning of the intervention and adherence should be considered. To increase adherence, the program should be attractive and it should meet the participants' needs.

Relevance This review might be used for identifying factors deciding whether an exercise program is an effective intervention to prevent the development of GDM. Moreover, it might also prove useful in the preparation of future guidelines for designing and implementing regular exercise programs effective in preventing GDM in pregnant women by gynecologists, obstetricians, midwives, trainers, and prenatal specialists.

Target Audience Obstetricians and gynecologists, family physicians.

Learning Objectives After participating in this activity, physicians should be better able to compare and analyze regular prenatal exercise programs; identify the most effective exercise programs in the prevention of GDM; distinguish factors decisive in gravid participants' involvement in regular physical activity sessions; and prepare for preparation of the future guidelines regarding regular exercise programs effective in preventing GDM.

*Lecturer, Faculty of Health Sciences and Tourism in Biała Podlaska, and

Lecturer, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport in Biała Podlaska, Józef Piłsudski University of Physical Education, Warsaw, Poland;

Assistant Professor, Department of Biomechanics, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport University of Physical Education, Kraków, Poland; and

§Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport in Biała Podlaska, Józef Piłsudski University of Physical Education, Warsaw, Poland

All authors, faculty, and staff in a position to control the content of this CME activity and their spouses/life partners (if any) have disclosed that they have no financial relationships with, or financial interests in, any commercial organizations relevant to this educational activity.

This work has been prepared under the research project of the Faculty of Physical Education and Sport in Biała Podlaska, Józef Piłsudski University of Physical Education in Warsaw (DS. 285) financed by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education in Poland.

Correspondence requests to: Weronika Grantham, MA, Akademicka 2 21–500 Biała Podlaska, Józef Piłsudski University of Physical Education, Warsaw, Poland. E-mail: weronika.grantham@awf-bp.edu.pl; weronika.grantham@gmail.com.

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