Safe Prenatal Exercise: How to Stay Active Through the Hot Summer Months

Staying active is important during pregnancy and is very essential, except for those who may have been recommended bed rest. If your pregnancy is a normal healthy one, you should plan on at least 2-3 hours of moderate-intensity activity each week. But, as summer weather starts to get warmer, you might find exercising while pregnant increasingly uncomfortable, or even start to wonder if it’s safe for you and your baby to get active in the heat. Let us guide you through a safe prenatal exercise plan. 


Time Your Workouts Wisely

  1. Avoid Peak Heat Hours: Schedule your workouts early in the morning or later in the evening when temperatures are cooler. Avoid exercising outdoors between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., which are typically the hottest parts of the day. 
  2. Choose Indoor Activities: On days when the heat is unbearable, opt for indoor activities. Swimming in an indoor pool, walking on a treadmill, or joining a prenatal yoga class in an air-conditioned space can be excellent alternatives.

Dress Appropriately

  1. Wear Light-Colored, Breathable Clothing: Choose loose-fitting clothes made from natural fibres like cotton or moisture-wicking fabrics designed for exercise. Light colours reflect the sun’s rays better than darker shades, helping to keep your body cooler.
  2. Protect Your Skin: Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to protect your face and eyes from the sun. Use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and reapply it every two hours or more often if you’re sweating heavily.

Stay Hydrated

  1. Increase Your Fluid Intake: Hydration is important during summer but it is even more critical when you are pregnant and exercising in the heat. Drink water before, during, and after your workout. Carrying a water bottle to remind yourself to drink regularly can help.

Add a spoonful of chia seeds and zest of lemon or orange into your bottle of water for taking sips through your physical activity.   

  1. Avoid Caffeine and Sugary Drinks: These can lead to dehydration. Stick to water or electrolyte-replacement drinks if you’re engaging in prolonged or particularly sweaty exercise sessions.

Modify Your Exercise Intensity

  1. Listen to Your Body: Pregnancy is not the time to push your limits, especially in the heat. If you feel dizzy, faint, or overheated, stop exercising immediately. These could be signs of heat exhaustion or other heat-related illnesses.
  2. Lower the Intensity: Choose moderate exercise that allows you to comfortably carry on a conversation. Walking, gentle swimming, and stationary cycling are good options.

Monitor the Humidity and Air Quality

  1. Humidity Factor: High humidity can prevent your sweat from evaporating, which inhibits your body’s ability to cool itself. On very humid days, reduce your exercise intensity or choose an indoor activity.
  2. Air Quality Alerts: Pay attention to air quality reports, especially if you live in an urban area. Poor air quality can affect your respiratory system and that of your growing baby.

Take Regular Breaks and Cool Down

  1. Incorporate Breaks: Take frequent, short breaks during your exercise session to rest and hydrate. This helps manage your body temperature and energy levels.
  2. Cool Down Gradually: After exercising, allow your body to cool down gradually by slowing the intensity of your activity and stretching gently. This helps prevent muscle stiffness and promotes circulation.

Consult Your Healthcare Provider

Before starting or continuing any exercise regimen during pregnancy, especially in the summer heat, consult with your healthcare provider. They can provide personalized advice based on your medical history and pregnancy.


Maintaining an active lifestyle during pregnancy is vital, and with the right precautions, it can be safe even during the hot summer months. At Little Stars & She, the leading women’s hospital in Hyderabad, we encourage expectant mothers to take care of their health in all seasons. By following these tips, you can enjoy a safe, healthy, and active pregnancy throughout the summer. Remember, every step you take towards maintaining your fitness helps pave the way for a healthier delivery and postpartum recovery.

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