The purposes of this study were to extensively review the gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and exercise literature and to provide recommendations for future research. We found (1) that exercise improved glucose utilization, decreased the need for insulin, or increased cardiorespiratory fitness in 62% of the intervention/treatment studies; (2) that pre-pregnancy exercise was associated with GDM risk reduction in 45% of the correlational studies; (3) a greater risk reduction for overweight women in 27% of the correlational studies; and (4) a lack of consistency in reporting study characteristics and outcomes across all study types. Findings illustrate the positive effect of exercise on GDM outcomes, and the need for more consistency in data reporting across studies to systematically determine the protective mechanism and causal pathway of exercise for preventing GDM.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cultural Studies
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)