It’s 9am and I navigate the stroller through the garage screen door, my 3-year-old protesting that she wants to walk.The humidity envelops me like a thick blanket over my head, and the sun beats down with a vengeance on my 34-week-pregnant self.“I’m not sure I’m gonna make it through this walk,” I think to myself, wondering how people live their whole lives with weather like this.
I’m from the Pacific Northwest where summers are a dreamy 80 degrees with little humidity. The military deposited us in Virginia in the sweltering humidity, high temps in the 90s for weeks and over 100 on the heat index. Add pregnancy into it, and I’m COOKED. DONE. VERY WELL DONE.
Can I conquer the humidity?
We settle into the walk, and I quickly realize this is going to be a tough one. I take a drink from my water bottle, but I’m still roasting. “Am I light headed or just nervous about becoming light-headed? My stomach feels weird. More water.” The thoughts swirl in my head like cotton candy wrapping around the stick. As I approach the choice between “long walk” and “short walk” it’s a no-brainer. I turn and head around the short loop toward home, hoping that I can make it home without sending my body into pre-term labor.
6 Workout Tips That Will Help You Conquer The Humidity
Staying fit to in the heat and humidity requires taking extra precautions. I want to stay healthy, for myself and especially during pregnancy, so I’ve been learning a lot about beating the summer heat. Here are 6 tips:
Workout early or late in the day
Avoiding the hottest part of the day is the best choice if you want to exercise outside. I’m terrible at getting up early, and even 9:00am is too hot on some days. Find what works for you.
Avoid the heat altogether
Working out inside is a valid option. You have free access to the base gym, and many bases have pools. You might need a gym with childcare such as a YMCA (this doubles as a mental health break for you moms & dads). YouTube videos provide a variety of workouts you can tackle from the comfort of home. Check out your cable on demand feature, get a DVD on Amazon, hit the treadmill/elliptical or do some simple stretching in the comfort of AC.
Hydrate before & after
Being prego, I’ve had a tough time staying hydrated. I’ve gotten leg cramps so I’m trying hard to stay on top of my water intake. The heat makes your body work a lot harder to stay cool, so drinking throughout the day as well as before and after your workout is vital. Just don’t gorge yourself on water right before, or you’ll feel sick when you start working out.
Carry a water bottle or put it in the stroller cup holder if your kiddo is riding along. You can also wear a camelback. If you can’t carry water, make sure to stay within range of a place to stop in case you need some, even if it’s a neighbor’s house.
Wear light but protective clothing
Your body can’t cool down as easily when it’s humid because the moisture-laden air reduces sweat’s ability to evaporate. Wearing moisture-wicking clothing helps take the sweat away from your body, allowing it to cool easier. You can also wipe sweat off with a towel or change shirts during workouts to help your body stay cooler.
As mentioned above, be sure to hydrate after exercising in the heat. You can splash your face and run water over your forearms and wrists where blood is closer to the surface.
So did I make it home?
I survived the walk home and breathed a few lungs-full of air-conditioned glory, wiping off sweat and drinking a glass of cool water.
After sitting on the couch for a few minutes, I convinced myself that I was not having contractions. Phew!
Since that day I pay better attention to the heat and how I’m feeling. I tend to walk on our treadmill inside more often and do exercises on a ball when it’s uber-hot out.
If walking around the block is such a challenge in the heat, imagine if you’re trying to train for an event or take on an intense workout!
Take care of yourself and don’t overdo it so you can stay healthy and beat the heat.