Exercise With Gestational Diabetes

You can exercise when you have gestational diabetes as long as your doctor says it’s OK. Being active is a good way to help manage your blood sugar.

Staying fit during pregnancy is also good for your posture and can curb some common problems, like backaches and fatigue.

What's Safe?

Was there a workout that you were doing before you found out you were pregnant? Do you have an activity that you love? Check with your doctor to see if you can keep it up, if you should make some changes, or if it's better to try something else.

Aim for at least 30 minutes of low-impact, moderate activity -- like brisk walking or swimming -- on most days.

Watch Your Blood Sugar

Exercise can lower your blood sugar. So when you work out, always have a form of quick sugar with you, such as glucose tablets or hard candy.

You’ll also want to eat a snack and time it right. A serving of fruit (or 15 grams of carbs) is good for most activities that last 30 minutes.

  • If you exercise right after a meal, wait to eat your snack until after your workout.
  • If it's been 2 hours or more since a meal, eat your snack first, then exercise.
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD on April 19, 2019

Sources

SOURCES:

American Diabetes Association: "Gestational Diabetes” and “What is Gestational Diabetes?”

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: "Gestational Diabetes: A Guide for Pregnant Women."

American College of Nurse Midwives: "Gestational Diabetes."

CDC: “Gestational Diabetes and Pregnancy.”

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