Should You Keep Cycling While Pregnant?
Even though everyone knows that physical activity during pregnancy is completely healthy and even desirable, the truth is that many women are afraid of doing anything physically demanding when they’re expecting. The same is true for cycling, since a lot of moms-to-be simply stop exercising because they’re scared that something bad may happen. But what is the real truth about that? If you want to learn if cycling is safe for pregnant women or not, just keep on reading!
Don’t stop, but take it easy
When it comes to cycling when you’re expecting, everything is actually quite simple and straightforward. This means that women who were confident cyclists before getting pregnant can continue with this practice during their pregnancy, but with some minor adjustments. Of course, you should be extremely careful not to fall down, because that can be a potential risk to your pregnancy. Needless to say, any kind of physical activity is extremely beneficial, both for the mother and for the baby, so don’t be afraid to keep on cycling if that was your thing before the pregnancy. Just be sure you take it easy, and remember that light cycling tours on a daily basis are a reasonable amount of exercise you need.
Stay safe no matter what
Staying safe during your daily exercise is essential, and the first step is checking with your doctor and the midwife. Provide all the important details like the type and the length of your exercise, as well as the position your body will be in, so that they can tell you if that type of physical activity is appropriate for you at the moment. Apart from your doctor’s and midwife’s instructions, you should use your common sense as well, which means that you must listen to your body in the first place. Doing something that doesn’t feel right isn’t logical, so stop anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. Besides that, you should make sure that you drink enough water before, during, and after the workout, so that you’re always properly hydrated and ready for the exercise.
Making adjustments on your bike is crucial
As far as your bike is concerned, it’ll need only minor adjustments. The first step is raising the handlebars, and it’s crucial because your belly is getting bigger and bigger, so that you have enough space. You should know that handlebars should be raised to the highest position after some time, and that’s probably the most comfortable position for the growing belly. Besides that, you should also take care of your seat, since poorly positioned seat can add stress to your lower back, which is one of the biggest problems for pregnant women.
Your spine has to be in the correct position, so don’t hesitate and ask someone to check if that’s the case with the seat on your bike. Of course, you can always opt for quality bikes that are really easy to use, so that you can adjust it all by yourself whenever you feel the need. You should also know that moms-to-be who have been cycling before probably won’t experience extra stress to the lower back, if adequately positioned on the bike. However, if you start to feel discomfort of any kind, just stop the exercise and take a deep breath.
Set some realistic goals and expectations
Even though you’re probably used to working out on a daily basis, you should give your best to set realistic goals and not to expect too much. As your pregnancy progresses, it’s completely normal and natural that any kind of physical activity is going to get a bit tricky, which is exactly why you should slow down and simplify your training schedule. As already stated, you should listen to your body in the first place, especially because you have to take proper care of your baby as well.
Even though you’ve always enjoyed long-distance rides, you should definitely slow down a little bit and realize that your body isn’t the same. It’s highly likely that your energy levels will be a bit lower, and that you’ll get tired much faster, so try not to think of it as your own failure but as of something that comes and goes. Once you realize that you should set realistic expectations, you’ll instantly feel much better.
As you can see, pregnant women are still allowed to cycle, no matter how big their belly is. The most important things are to consult with your doctor and the midwife, to make some minor adjustments on your bike, and to set realistic goals when it comes to your everyday workouts, even if you want to make it into a healthy morning routine. Besides that, you should always use your common sense and listen to your body, because that’s the key to success when talking about cycling during pregnancy!