Is Cycling Safe During Pregnancy?
Lately, we’ve had a few readers ask us about whether cycling during pregnancy is a safe and effective exercise. So we thought we’d do some research and find out what the experts and obstetricians have to say. We’ll look at both outdoor cycling and stationary cycling during pregnancy. Read on to find out more.
Riding Your Bike While Pregnant:
If you’re already a proficient cyclist, there’s no reason to stop riding a bike during pregnancy. The exercise and fresh air will help keep symptoms at bay and allow you to sleep better. However, you should keep these simple tips in mind every time you go for a ride:
1. Consult Your Professionals:
You don’t have to ask permission to ride your bike – you’re a grown women! But it is a good idea to keep your pregnancy professionals informed about your level of exercise. If a heart rate condition or a placental complication (such as placenta previa) were to develop, your doctor may advise against cycling.
2. Listen to your body:
If you’re a serious cyclist, you may have a tendency to push your body hard to get the results you’re aiming for. That’s fine when you’re not pregnant but it’s a concern when you are. Listen to your body and do not allow yourself to become breathless (your baby is getting oxygen from you!), dehydrated, exhausted, or sore.
3. Put safety first:
There is always a risk of injury from falling or collision when you’re cycling and you want to minimize that risk as much as possible when you’re pregnant. It might not be the best time to prove you’re a downhill dare-devil.
4. Go with a friend:
One way to ensure that you’re safe and that help is available if anything goes wrong is to avoid going out cycling alone. Take a friend and make a nice social day of it.
5. Be aware of your center of gravity:
Your body is changing rapidly and your center of gravity will have changed. As gravity affects balance and cycling involves balancing on a two-wheeled contraption, this is definitely something to bear in mind!
Cycling During Pregnancy if You’re New to Cycling:
If you are not an experienced cyclist, pregnancy probably isn’t the best time to take it up! There is always a falling risk when you’re cycling and you’d never forgive yourself if you had an accident that harmed you or the baby. Additionally, cycling requires strengthening a whole different set of muscles than other exercises and you don’t want to worsen uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms by embarking on an entirely new exercise routine. Staying active is important but you’re better off continuing with familiar forms of exercise during pregnancy, rather that putting your body under unnecessary stress.
Stationary Cycling During Pregnancy:
Stationary cycling has fewer risks attached to it than road or mountain biking do. You’re inside, you’re in a controlled environment, and there is much less chance of a falling or collision accident. Nevertheless, as with any exercise during pregnancy, there are precautions you should take. These include staying hydrated, keeping your heart rate at a safe level, and being aware of any uncomfortable symptoms which develop while you’re exercising. Keep your pregnancy professionals in the loop about your exercise routine and be gentle on your body – remember that it’s working hard to grow a baby and may not be able to do everything it could before your pregnancy.
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Tell us About Your Pregnancy Fitness Routine:
Staying fit and active during pregnancy helps keep your heart beating at its best for you and Baby, keeps uncomfortable symptoms at bay, helps you sleep better, and ensures you’ll bounce back into shape after Baby is born. What workouts and exercises do you use to stay fit and active? We’d love to hear about them (and any questions you have for our panel)! Feel free to tell us about your pregnancy workouts in the comments section or to send us a private message through our contact us page. We’re super friendly and love hearing from our readers.
More Articles and Advice about Your Pregnancy Health and Fitness:
Do you want to keep fit but feel unsure about where to start with pregnancy exercise? Check out our guide to easy, yet effective, pregnancy workouts for women of all fitness levels.
If you’re going to be exercising, you need to make sure you’re giving your body (and your baby!) the fuel it needs. Read our guide to a healthy pregnancy diet here.
Yoga is a gentle and low-impact way to exercise during pregnancy. And it also has many other unexpected health benefits! Find out more about yoga during pregnancy here.
Looking for something to wear while you’re working out? Something that doesn’t cut into your ever-expanding belly? Look no further – we’ve got reviews of a quality range of modern pregnancy workout clothes right here.