Exercise for gestational diabetes

The Essentials

This week I had the pleasure of interview Esme Soan, an exercise physiologist from Brisbane (Australia) about the role of exercise in the management of gestational diabetes (GD).

Once diagnosed with GD, I do find that many of my clients are referred to dieticians for management, but education on the exercise side of things is pretty minimal. Perhaps a little leaflet… a few basic tips. That’s about it.

I know from my research and from my client’s experiences, that exercise can be VERY beneficial (in addition to dietary changes) for women with GD. But what KIND of exercise is ideal? HOW MUCH? HOW INTENSE? HOW OFTEN? These are the kinds of questions that people want to know the answers to.

So in this interview we covered:

  1. Who is Esme and what is the role of an exercise physiologist?
  2. What is the difference between type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes?
  3. What are the potential complications associated with poorly managed GD?
  4. How exercise helps with the management of GD – ie what is the mechanism?
  5. What are the best kinds of activity for GD and why? (Does emptying the dishwasher count?)
  6. How intense should the exercise be and how often is ideal?
  7. Why working with a professional is essential when starting a new exercise program
  8. A case study of one of Esme’s clients who was 30 weeks pregnant and diagnosed with GD – how her activity levels were tweaked to improve her glucose tolerance.
  9. Long-term benefits of exercise in pregnancy and beyond.
  10. How to get in touch with Esme.

You can find Esme at Pear Exercise Physiology and Brisbane Family Clinic. If you are a health/fitness professional in Australia and would like to be a part of the Women’s Health Collective, then head to the website or Facebook page to learn more.

If you are pregnant and would like to have access to a pregnancy exercise program, designed by a physiotherapist that you can do in the comfort of your own home, then head across to our Herasphere Pregnancy Club page.

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