Exercising In The Heat During Pregnancy: How To Keep Your Cool

We’re not sure what’s happening, but in London temps are hanging right around 26˚C (80˚F), humidity is soaring, and it’s not even June. We’re not ones to complain about sunny, warm weather but we don’t necessarily love the constant sweating that comes with these long humid days, you feel?

Now, we know if you’re expecting or in the early postpartum phases you’re dealing with overactive sweat glands as is, and that can make this weather even more uncomfortable. Mamas, we feel you, and we’re sending you cooling thoughts!

Excess sweating is a really common pregnancy symptom, but it’s not one that people talk about all that often. But it’s true that your sweat glands effectively go into overdrive due to hormonal changes associated with pregnancy. Similarly, in the postnatal period as you ease back into exercise, your body may still be ridding itself of the water it retained while you were expecting. Guess what that means? Yep, even more sweating. We promise, this will pass.

Excess sweat can be incredibly uncomfortable in its own right, but with the temps rising we want to talk about an even a bigger concern, and that’s exercising in the heat. And more importantly, making sure you don’t overheat.

During pregnancy, your body temperature is naturally elevated due to an increased amount of circulating blood, so it’s additionally important to make sure you don’t get too hot when working out. That’s why we always recommend that if you do feel dizzy, lightheaded, or even slightly overheated while exercising to slow things down to a stop, steady your breathing and find somewhere with good air flow to cool down.

While so many of us are left exercising either outside or in our homes, and temps only continuing to rise as we move into the summer months, we wanted to address this topic a bit more in depth and give you some quick tips for how to make sure you don’t overheat while exercising.

How To Stay Cool While Working Out In Warmer Weather

1. Avoid antiperspirant

After we just talked all about excess sweat in pregnancy this may seem illogical, but there’s a good reason behind this tip! Antiperspirants work to block sweat glands (and this is where unsavory Aluminum exposure comes in). But your body needs to sweat, especially during exercise, as it’s how you naturally cool yourself down.

You can opt for some deodorant to keep things smelling a bit sweeter though. We’re really loving Native deodorants as they’re all-natural, vegan, free from parabens and aluminum, and they come in a variety of seriously yummy scents.

2. Wear loose and light clothing

Lock the Lycra away in this heat. You don’t want anything that traps sweat (and heat) on your skin. Go for clothes that will air out the more you move – like a loose-fitting tee and breathable shorts.

Mesh and polyester are good materials for letting your skin breathe. We love these Nike Tempo shorts that are lightweight and sweat-wicking and this Dri-FIT Training Tank top that’s looser-fitting 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 and breathable designs to help you stay cool and dry. Seraphine’s Maternity and Nursing SportsBra is a fantastic option for during and after pregnancy.

4. Keep drinking water, and then drink some more

How many times have you heard us say hydration is everything? Well it counts here too. Make sure you’re well hydrated before you workout, and try to drink at least 8 oz (a full glass) 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 sipping on that water will not only help your body temperature regulate it will prevent dehydration later in the day.

5. Switch up your timetable. 

If you can, you might want to modify 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 warmer 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.

Want more exercise guidance and safe workouts for a healthy pregnancy and fourth trimester? Check out our free iOS app!


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