August 24, 2016
We've had a lovely few weeks of summer sun here in the UK, and for the first time in what feels like forever, it doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon! Now I really do welcome the heat - I'd choose lightweight, flowy dresses over pants and sweaters any day. But when it comes to working out on a hot summer afternoon, I find it difficult to stay motivated. While I love to soak up the greenery of the outdoors, breathe in the fresh air, and feel the ground beneath my feet while I workout - there's one thing that makes me hesitate to get out and go: the hot and heavy humidity. Everything just becomes so... sticky! While outdoor exercise is more enjoyable now that the sun is shining, there is the big issue of overheating and of course, sweating.
Here's the thing, summer workouts get hot for everyone, but during pregnancy and after birth you're also dealing with a little something extra: excess sweat. Don't be surprised if your prenatal workouts are a bit wetter than usual, as your sweat glands are basically in overdrive due to hormonal changes. Similarly, in your postnatal period as you ease back into exercise, your body may still be ridding itself of the water it retained during pregnancy. Guess what that means? Yep, even more sweating. We do promise, this will pass.
Excess sweat can be incredibly uncomfortable in its own right, but perhaps a bigger concern when exercising in the heat is making sure you don't overheat. This is especially true during pregnancy. Your body temperature is naturally elevated due to an increase in your blood supply, so it's important to make sure you don't get too hot when working out. If you do feel dizzy, lightheaded, or even slightly overheated, make sure to slow it down, steady your breathing and find somewhere with good air flow to cool down.
Now we hope you've had the chance to enjoy the gorgeous summer weather and get a workout in while you're at it. But if you're deterred by the thought of dealing with excess sweat, experiencing with chafing in places that have never chafed before, and struggling to find more air to breathe in - don't worry, we've got some tips to help you avoid a sticky workout.
Top Tips for Working Out in the Heat
1. Apply talc-free powder. Applying some talc-free powder to areas that are prone to friction (or aren't ususally, but may be when extra heat is involved) is a great way to prevent discomfort. If you do this before and even during your workout, the powder will absorb excess moisture and sweat, helping to prevent unfortunate heat rashes. We recommend Johnsons Talc-Free Baby Powder which will also be great for your little one!
2. Avoid antiperspirant. When talking about excess sweat this may seem illogical, but there's a good reason to avoid these; antiperspirants work to block sweat glands, but your body needs to sweat, especially during exercise, as it's how you naturally cool yourself down. You can definitely opt for some deodorant to keep things smelling a bit sweeter though. A great option is The Healthy Deodorant as it's safe on sensitive skin, free from parabens and aluminum, and comes in a variety of delightful scents.
3. Wear loose and light clothing. It's best to lock the Lycra away in this heat. Go for clothes that can be aired out as you gain speed - like a baggy tee and shorts. Mesh and polyester are great materials for letting your skin breathe. We love these Nike 3" Rival Woven shorts that use their Dri-FIT fabric to keep you dry and comfortable during your workout. Extra points to them for being pink.
4. Choose the right sports bra. Of course the one item of clothing that can't be loose-fitting is your sports bra, but there are still a few things to consider when choosing one that will help you feel more comfortable. Be sure to get one that is soft and gentle on your skin, while offering enough support to protect your delicate breast tissue. We also highly recommend sweat-wicking materials to help you stay cool and dry. The CW-X Xtra Support III is a great option for during and after pregnancy.
5. Keep drinking water. Stay hydrated throughout the day before your work out, and try to drink 8 oz of water during your exercise routine. It's best to aim for small sips every 5 minutes, so you don't fill up your stomach too quickly. Your body loses water when you sweat, so making sure you're well hydrated will help you keep you cool and prevent dehydration. During exercise, you'll want a bottle with an easy grip to make sipping simple - we love Bobble bottles as they're comfortable to hold and provide quick filtration.
6. Switch up your timetable. If you can, you might want to try and change your workout schedule to avoid working out in the heat of the day. Early morning workouts (before 9am) are best, as it tends to be the coolest time of day, even with the sun up. It's also a great way to jumpstart your metabolism and will help give you a dose of energy for the day ahead.
Remember to be patient with yourself when exercising in the heat - try not to push into any high-intensity workouts, and keep in mind that it may take up to 2 weeks to acclimatize to this new weather. If you're running in a park, try to stay in the more shaded areas. And again, if you start to feel dizzy - stop, re-hydrate, and start again at a slower pace, or head home and rinse off in a warm-to-cool shower.