Aerobic Dance Exercise Improves Blood Glucose Level in Pregnant Women with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus
Exercise has been recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as an adjunct treatment for Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM), however, there is no planned exercise mode and type for this population. This study investigated the effect of structured aerobic dance exercise on the blood glucose level in pregnant women diagnosed with gestational diabetes attending clinic at Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, Nigeria. Thirty-four women diagnosed with gestational diabetes who met the inclusion criteria were recruited for the study. They were randomly assigned into exercise and control groups of 17 participants each. The Exercise group underwent 8 weeks aerobic dance exercise consisting of three exercise sessions per week, 40 minutes per session for the first 4 weeks and 60 minutes per session for the last 4 weeks. The Control group did not participate in any form of structured exercise programme throughout the period of the study but were encouraged to continue with their normal activities of daily living. The data for the study were collected at baseline, at 4 weeks and at 8 weeks of the exercise programme. Thirty (30) of the participants completed the study and so only their data were analysed using Repeated Measure ANOVA and Independent t-test. Results of the study showed significant improvement in the fasting blood sugar (p = .001) of the exercise group. It was suggested following the result of the study, that exercise be made part of treatment plan for women with GDM in our health institutions.
Keywords: Gestational diabetes mellitus, exercise, blood glucose.
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