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Safe Prenatal Exercise: How to Stay Active Through the Hot Summer Months

In the majority of cases, staying active is important during pregnancy. If your pregnancy is healthy, you should plan on at least 2-3 hours of moderate-intensity activity each week. But, as summer weather starts to get warmer, you might find exercising while pregnant increasingly uncomfortable, or even start to wonder if it’s safe for you and your baby to get active in the heat.

Dr. Leonardo Longoria and our team of providers at Longoria OBGYN of El Paso, Texas, provide expert support and advice to our patients throughout pregnancy. If you’re wondering what types of summertime activities are safe or healthy during pregnancy, Dr. Longoria can help put together a customized activity plan just for you.

Here’s the information you need about staying safely active through the summer while pregnant.

The benefits of activity during pregnancy

Moderate exercise benefits you during pregnancy. Exercise is a positive way to deal with stress, and also supports your heart, lungs, and blood vessels. And, exercise also helps you gain weight within healthy parameters during pregnancy.

If you and your pregnancy are healthy, exercising doesn’t increase your risk of miscarriage, premature birth, or low birth weight. Staying active actually reduces your risk of pregnancy complications including gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.

Some expectant mothers need different activity plans. If your pregnancy is high-risk, consult with Dr. Longoria about types of exercise that are safe for you.

Low-impact options for working out while pregnant

When you’re thinking about exercise during pregnancy, focus on aerobic activity that increases your heart rate. That said, as your belly grows during pregnancy, and the summer months start to heat up, avoiding overheating may also become an important part of your exercise routine!

It’s typically safe to continue with your existing healthy exercise patterns during pregnancy. And, if you lived a more sedentary lifestyle before becoming pregnant, it’s important to get active now.

You can spread out your exercise time over the week to take it easier on yourself. Start with 5 minutes of activity, then increase to 10 minutes and more at a time.

Low-impact forms of exercise are often easier for pregnant women’s bodies to sustain. Yoga is a great way to get flexible before giving birth. And, swimming is both low-impact and an effective way to beat the heat. Swimming also takes the pressure off your back and spine as your pregnancy progresses.

Keeping cool in the summer heat

Extra pregnancy weight and pregnancy hormones can make summer heat hard to beat. Wearing light, breathable clothing can help you keep cool. Use a broad-brimmed hat to create shade around you wherever you go, and time your exercise to morning and evening hours when the sun is lower in the sky.

Pay attention to humidity levels, as humid weather can make hot temperatures more intense for your physical health. You also need to stay well-hydrated when you’re active in the hot or humid months.

For advice on exercise during pregnancy that’s precisely targeted to your lifestyle and care needs, contact Dr. Longoria at Longoria OBGYN today. Call now to schedule an appointment, or book with our easy-to-use online tool.

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