Purpose: The objective of this study is to assess the effectiveness of a maternal exercise program (land/aquatic activities, both aerobic and muscular conditioning) in preventing gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).
Methods: Three hundred and forty-two pregnant women from Spain (age, 33.24 ± 4.3 yr) without obstetric contraindications were recruited for a clinical randomized controlled trial. The intervention group (IG, n = 101) exercised for 60 and 50 min on land and in water, respectively, three times per week. The control group (n = 156) received usual standard care.
Results: The prevalence of GDM was reduced in the IG group (IG, 1%, n = 1, vs control group, 8.8%, n = 13 (χ1 = 6.84, P = 0.009)) with a significant risk estimate (odds ratio = 0.103; 95% confidence interval, 0.013-0.803).
Conclusion: The exercise program performed during pregnancy reduced the prevalence of GDM by preserving glucose tolerance.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01790412.