How to Stay Fit in Extreme Heat Conditions While Pregnant

You Can Stay Fit in Heat While Pregnant

When you’re pregnant, staying fit in extreme heat conditions can be a challenge. Exercising in hot weather can make you more vulnerable to heat-related illnesses, such as heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and dehydration. All of these complications can be negative effects on your developing baby. In addition, having a high body temperature – which can occur if you get overheated – can lead to miscarriage and birth defects in your baby.

Exercising is recommended, and it actually tones and gets your body ready for labor and delivery. For low-risk pregnant women, doctors often recommend moderate exercise – such as swimming, low-impact aerobics, walking, prenatal yoga, and weight training. If you’re exercising outside, you’ll want to pay careful attention to the temperatures and stay hydrated.

Exercise in Extreme Heat Conditions

What Happens To Your Body in Extreme Heat Conditions

Pregnant women, like anyone else, can suffer from heat-related complications if their bodies’ temperature control system gets overloaded during exercise. Under normal situations, your body cools itself down and regulates your body temperature by sweating. In extreme heat, sweating doesn’t just cut it and the body has to find alternative ways to cool down. As a result, the heart rate will increase as the body sends more blood to circulate to the skin. During pregnancy, this presents a huge danger, since the expectant mother’s heart already beats faster than it did pre-pregnancy (due to the fact that she has twice the blood volume and cardiac output as she normally does). In addition, since sweat doesn’t evaporate off the skin in extreme heat, this can further increase the pregnant woman’s body temperature.

In early pregnancy, a high core body temperature can lead to miscarriage or birth defects in the baby. Later in pregnancy, this can lead to premature labor and delivery. Premature babies can face many health problems.

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