Did you know that pregnant women should aim to get at least 150 minutes of exercise every week? Staying active during pregnancy offers numerous benefits for both you and your baby — but being pregnant means taking extra precautions.
When the summer heat rolls in, you need to reevaluate your exercise routine to make sure you stay safe and comfortable. Marc Wilson, MD, and our team at Women’s Health Specialists are here to help.
We offer comprehensive prenatal care, and here, we’re sharing our top tips for safe prenatal exercise during the summer months.
Talk to your obstetrician
When you’re pregnant, it’s essential to consult your health care provider before starting or modifying any exercise routine, especially in the summer months. We offer personalized recommendations based on your health history and pregnancy progression.
As we evaluate your workout routine, we provide guidance to help you modify exercises to suit your changing needs. You might also consider joining prenatal exercise classes designed specifically for pregnant women to stay fit and have fun during your pregnancy.
Hydration is crucial for everyone, but it’s especially important to have plenty of fluids when you’re pregnant and the weather is hot. Dehydration can lead to dizziness, fatigue, and overheating, which can increase your risk of pregnancy complications.
Before, during, and after you exercise, make sure to drink plenty of water. Carry a water bottle with you, and take regular sips throughout your workout session.
Wear loose-fitting, breathable clothing made from moisture-wicking fabrics when you work out. These fabrics help promote air circulation and body temperature regulation.
If you’re exercising outside, opt for light-colored clothes that reflect sunlight rather than absorbing heat. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and apply sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF) to prevent sunburn.
Stick to low-impact activities
Activities that involve jumping or excessive impact (like CrossFit or contact sports) aren’t recommended during pregnancy. Instead, pick low-impact exercises to reduce stress on your joints and minimize your risk of injury.
Walking, stationary cycling, swimming, and prenatal yoga are excellent options. These exercises provide cardiovascular benefits, and they’re gentler on your body. Incorporate strength training exercises with light weights or resistance bands to build muscle tone and strength.
Choose the right time of day
If you work out outside, do so during the cooler parts of the day to avoid excessive heat and sun exposure. Early mornings or evenings are usually the best times to exercise outside during the summer.
Alternatively, take your workouts indoors. Exercising in an air-conditioned space lowers your risk of overheating and dehydration.
Modify intensity and duration
Pregnancy is not the time to push yourself to the limits. Instead, adjust the intensity and duration of your workouts to match your changing needs.
Avoid overheating or exhausting yourself, and take breaks when needed. While you’re working out, aim for a moderate intensity level that allows you to maintain a conversation comfortably.
Listen to your body
Above all, listen to your body. Pregnancy is a unique journey, and each woman's experience is different. If you feel any discomfort, pain, or unusual symptoms while you’re exercising, stop immediately and call your doctor.
Be mindful of signs of overheating such as excessive sweating, dizziness, or feeling lightheaded. If you experience any of these symptoms, immediately stop exercising. Pay attention to your body's cues and never hesitate to seek medical advice if you have concerns.
Staying active during pregnancy is important, but you should always prioritize the safety of both yourself and your baby. For more tips for safe prenatal exercise this summer, book an appointment with Dr. Wilson and our team at Women’s Health Specialists.
Call our Denton, Texas, office at 940-202-0301 or send us a message online now.