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Physiological and metabolic responses of late pregnant women to 40 min of steady-state exercise followed by an oral glucose tolerance perturbation



Physiological and metabolic responses of late pregnant women to 40 min of steady-state exercise followed by an oral glucose tolerance perturbation



Journal of Applied Physiology 115(5): 597-604



We examined the physiological and metabolic responses of 24 active late pregnant women to 40 min of vigorous (95% ventilatory threshold) steady-state treadmill exercise followed by a metabolic perturbation [oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), 75 g] after exercise. Heart rate and respiratory measures were taken throughout exercise, and blood samples were collected during exercise and every 30 min during the 2-h OGTT. Values were compared with those for a group of physically active nonpregnant women (n = 16) in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. Although late pregnant women were heavier, they performed the same work rate (182 vs. 208 W, P > 0.05), with the same oxygen pulse, but responded to the exercise with a blunted heart rate and relative oxygen consumption, with less carbon dioxide expired, possibly due to pregnancy-related adaptations in heart efficiency. Resting glucose concentrations were the same between groups, but by 40 min of exercise (3.8 ± 0.1 vs. 4.6 ± 0.1 mmol/l) and into 15 min of recovery (4.3 ± 0.2 vs. 5.0 ± 0.1 mmol/l), glucose concentrations were diminished in late pregnant women (P ≤ 0.05, respectively). The pregnancy-induced delay of glucose uptake was seen in response to the postexercise OGTT compared with the nonpregnant women, but insulin sensitivity (ISI) remained (7.4 ± 0.9 vs. 9.7 ± 1.4 ISI, P > 0.05, respectively), with the preservation of the sensitivity of lipolysis inhibition of nonesterified free fatty acids to insulin. These adaptations may be fetoprotective, because our research suggests that 40 min of continuous treadmill exercise is well tolerated by physically active pregnant women. No adverse effects on birth outcome (3.53 ± 0.08 kg birth weight; 39.6 ± 0.33 wk gestational age) were observed.

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Accession: 055001121

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 23813524

DOI: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00487.2013


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