A hard workout can 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 get the chance to get outside for exercise (when the weather permits!), but if you’re deterred by the thought of dealing with excess sweat without the niceties of the air conditioning that the gym offers – don’t worry, we’ve got some tips to help you avoid a sticky workout while outside.
Top Tips for Working Out in the Heat
1. 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.
2. 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 loose-fitting tee and breathable shorts. Mesh and polyester are great materials for letting your skin breathe. We love these Nike Tempo shorts that are lightweight and sweat-wicking and this Breeze Cool top that’s soft and breathable to keep you dry and comfortable during your workout.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
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