Working out while pregnant can have a positive impact on both the mother and child, but it’s important to take safety precautions before, during and after your workout. We’ve all experienced the hot Austin summers and with temperatures as high as 107 this summer, anyone who is exercising outside (pregnant or not), will want to be sure to take precautions. At the OB/GYN Group of Austin, it’s our goal to be our patient’s partner for a lifetime of care, and that includes informing her on how to safely exercise while pregnant. We recommend consulting your doctor before hitting the gym and following these 5 tips to stay safe!
While this is great advice for anyone who is exercising outdoors in the Texas heat this summer, it’s especially imperative that pregnant women avoid the hottest parts of the day. The sun’s rays are strongest from mid-morning to late afternoon, making the ideal workout time either early morning or in the evening. Not only do you risk getting sunburned during the heat of the day, but humidity can leave you feeling tired more quickly while pregnant. So, don’t forget to wear your sunscreen and try to knock out your workout early in the morning!
An easy way to avoid the heat altogether is to exercise indoors. Find a gym or program that holds classes indoors – allowing you to safely workout in the comfort of air conditioning. A great way to workout while pregnant is to join a prenatal yoga class, like this one offered by Austin Prenatal Yoga! Or if you have other children, another fantastic option would be to squeeze in a quick workout at home during naptime, such as a BodyFit By Amy video.
This may seem obvious to you, but hydrating before and after exercising is essential and should not be taken lightly. The risk of dehydration increases immensely in the summer, and even more so when pregnant. It is recommended that pregnant women drink ten 8-ounce cups of water per day, and the more you workout the more fluids you need. If you take one thing away from this article, always remember that hydrating is the most important aspect of staying healthy and exercising while pregnant!
Keep your clothes in mind when preparing to exercise in the heat. You’ll want to wear light-colored clothing made out of lightweight synthetic or polyester materials to help regulate your body temperature. These fabrics dry quicker than most and wick away your sweat, acting as a cooling system for your body. The TrailHeads Women’s Cap is the perfect accessory to offer you a breathable way to protect your face from the sun. We also highly recommend DEET Off Spray for pregnant women because it protects against the Zika Virus!
Swimming is a wonderful form of exercise while pregnant because it’s a high impact sport with low resistance that keeps you cool. This allows you to get a quality workout in without straining your body as much as you would running on pavement or lifting weights in a gym. Find a workout buddy, join an aerobics class and get to kicking – maybe your baby will kick along with you! Another great place to get a summer swim in is at the classic Austin attraction, Barton Springs.
Now that you know how to safely workout this summer, it’s time to get those endorphins flowing! Staying active while pregnant can help reduce back pain and constipation while increasing your mood and improving your energy. If you’re looking to learn about the basics of childbirth, baby care or breastfeeding, we offer classes every month. We hope you and your baby enjoy the workout and don’t forget – hydrate hydrate hydrate!