Exercising through your pregnancy in the summer months:: How to stay safe & in shape in the sun!
Weather these days seems to be characterized by never-ending extremes: it’s either very hot, very cold, or raining! These past weeks have been filled with oppressive heat and humidity, and although we are excited for the summer sun and activities, we all need to be cognizant of not letting our bodies overheat while exercising outdoors. This is especially true for pregnant women.
The following are some guidelines for pregnant women (compiled from American Academy of Obstetrics and Gynecology, ACOG) to think about and to follow when exercising outdoors in the summer heat:
1. Workout in the morning or evening.
2. Stay hydrated (before, during, and after exercise). Eight 8-ounce glasses a day may be suitable for non-exercise days but you need to up the hydration ante on the days you exercise. Sports drinks with electrolytes are a must along with sufficient water intake.
3. Listen to your body. Some warning signs to watch for: sudden swelling of ankles, face or hands; vomiting and/or diarrhea, onset/persistent headache; excessive fatigue; persistent contractions (6-8 an hour); elevation of pulse rate that persists after exercise.
4.Wear light, absorbent clothing while exercising. You want to wear workout clothing that is made of a sweat-wicking fabric (this will usually be specified on the clothing label). Avoid dark-colored clothing like black and navy blue. Also, stick to shorts rather than capris or pants.
5. Exercise indoors if it is above 90 degrees. A 10-15 minute light jog or powerwalk outside is fine for a warm up, but move the bulk of your workout indoors to the air-conditioning
If you are exercising outdoors in the heat, adjust your pace and intensity level downward. Shortening your total workout duration is another option. ACOG also recommends that pregnant women never let their core body temperature rise above 102.2º F. Don’t push yourself too hard. Check that you are not over-exercising by paying attention to how you feel. You should be able to carry on a conversation while exercising.
When equipped with the proper information and tools about summer exercise, staying fit through your pregnancy never looked so HOT!
Blog article author: Jen Dehestani, ACSM Certified Personal Trainer at JFit 360° http://jfit360.com