Summer is a time to get moving and enjoy the warm weather with friends and family. However, the raised temperatures come with their fair share of risks—especially if you’re pregnant. In fact, heart health is at particularly high risk during this time of year, since overheating can have severe effects on circulation. This is why expecting mothers need to be concerned not only with keeping themselves healthy this summer, but also with beating the heat. Use these summer heart health tips to protect yourself and your baby this season.
Avoid Direct Sunlight
When the weather’s nice, you’ll naturally want to spend some time outdoors. Just remember that it should only be in short bursts and that you should keep out of direct sunlight. Otherwise, heat exhaustion can quickly set in and put strain on your heart. For this reason, it’s important to regulate your time outdoors and to take frequent breaks out of the sun.
Eat Heart Healthy Foods
Another important summer heart health tip for expecting mothers is to adopt a diet of heart-healthy foods. Foods such as fatty fish, fruits, and vegetables cut down on cholesterol and reduce your risk of developing heart disease. These foods also help blood move more freely throughout the body and, overall, make it easier for each part of your body to get the oxygen it needs to survive.
Drink Plenty of Water
Make sure you’re drinking ample amounts of water and keeping yourself hydrated. Dehydration affects the body in potentially dangerous ways, and it definitely isn’t something you want to experience while pregnant. As such, you’ll want to drink a bit more than the recommended eight glasses of water a day to accommodate your activity levels and the heat.
Know Your Physical Limits
Pushing yourself too hard during the summer can be a recipe for disaster for both you and your baby. As such, it’s important that you familiarize yourself with your physical capabilities and know when it’s time to take a break. When you feel yourself becoming tired, thirsty, or even dizzy, it’s definitely a good time to get some rest. Continuing to push yourself in spite of these feelings can be incredibly hard on your heart as well as on other key parts of your body.