Prenatal Exercise 101: Your Guide to Safe Activity During the Summer

Prenatal Exercise 101: Your Guide to Safe Activity During the Summer

Less back pain, lower blood pressure, healthy weight gain — these are just a few of the many advantages of exercising during pregnancy. Here’s a look at how to exercise safely this summer while you’re pregnant.

It used to be that women were discouraged from being overly active during pregnancy, but we now know better – much better. Prenatal exercise is not only generally safe, but it also improves your health and your pregnancy journey in some incredibly valuable ways.

If you’re entering the summer pregnant, the team of obstetric health experts here at Bay Area Physicians for Women’s Health wants to discuss the importance of exercise and how you can do it safely this summer.

Why exercise during your pregnancy

There are any number of reasons why keeping your activity levels during your pregnancy is important, and we want to include some cited by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists:

  • Keeping back pain to a minimum
  • Easing constipation
  • Warding off serious issues like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia
  • Reducing your risks for Cesarean section
  • Controlling your weight gain

As for how much exercise is suggested, the recommendations for prenatal exercise are the same as those for people who aren’t nurturing another life inside them — 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week. 

Tips for exercising during the summer months

Summers can get hot here in southern Alabama, and the thought of heading outdoors in the humid heat when you’re pregnant may be less than appealing. In view of this, we recommend the following:

Hit the water

One of the best activities for pregnant women is swimming, which not only keeps you cooler when you exercise, but the water also provides your joints a wonderful break from carrying all that extra weight. So, this summer, you can head to the ocean or find an indoor swimming pool to get some exercise.

Keep it cool

Outside of swimming, we recommend that you take your exercise indoors, especially during midday hours when the sun is high and the temps soar. An air-conditioned gym or yoga studio are great oases from the heat. There are also plenty of online and app options for exercising in your own air-conditioned home.

Off hours

Another great way to get some movement in during the summer months is to head out extra early for a walk, or you can even go later at night under the street lights. Or, you can get together with some friends and walk around a lighted track or in a mall.

Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated while you exercise in the summer is important for everyone, and it’s especially important if you’re pregnant. So, keep that water bottle handy at all times when you’re active.

Getting exercise when you’re pregnant during summertime has its challenges, but it’s by no means impossible. We do suggest that you listen to your body, which is hard at work growing a new life. If you’re simply feeling zapped of energy, go ahead and take a day off and rest. That said, try not to let this go on for days at a time. 

If you’d like more ideas about prenatal activity this summer, feel free to contact our office in Mobile, Alabama, to set up an appointment.