Oftentimes, I’ve been asked the question “Can you ride a bike while pregnant?”
Exercising when you are pregnant goes a long way into growing body and mind; Running, cycling, swimming, whatever your chosen sport is, as long as you are safe doing it. Exercising during pregnancy indeed keeps you fit and prepared for childbirth.
Cycling will always be a better method of exercise during pregnancy; one could bike throughout her pregnancy stage, from the first week of being pregnant down to the last week.
Biking during pregnancy isn’t just crucial for your mental health; it is also suitable for your physical wellbeing. Conducting both indoor and outdoor cycling keeps you fit, strong and boosts your mood and energy; It is also of great benefit to your baby.
“Can You Ride a Bike while Pregnant”; well, the answer is? Yes, it’s safe to ride a bike while pregnant. The NHS also advices pregnant women to exercise but to be careful they don’t risk a fall.
You need to carefully observe your body if you feel dizzy to stop what you are doing. Some methods to prevent this are always staying hydrated and making sure you are not riding on an empty stomach.
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Benefits of Cycling During Pregnancy
- Cycling can help with insomnia, fatigue and other health ailments.
- Cycling is a low impact activity that will not have many impacts on your joints.
- It also helps you control weight gain, and it promotes muscle tone and strength. It is fun, and it could keep your mind off all the food you crave to eat.
- Women who start cycling at an early stage of their pregnancy get lower chances of developing gestational diabetes.
- Cycling during pregnancy eases your backaches and boosts your mood and energy,
Safety Precautions for Pregnant Women
- It may be challenging to remain well hydrated during pregnancy; staying hydrated is vital for your health and baby’s health when you are pregnant. When pregnant, you need more water, so make sure you drink enough fluids when biking and remember to Pack Fluids and Food. Do not underestimate your energy needs; make sure you have extra dollars in your pocket so that you could easily visit the pizza hut whenever you feel the urge to stop.
- Avoid high traffic areas when pregnant; if possible, take only bike paths and low traffic roads with wide or protected bike lanes.
- Reduce your speed and endeavour to take plenty of time to get to your destinations; do not be in haste and mindfully increase your speed.
- Keeping an ice pack in your pocket or a wet handkerchief around your neck helps to keep your body temperature calm. A cold or an iced water bottle also help during hot days. Always remember to avoid overheating, mainly during the first trimester.
- Take extra care when there is heavy rain, snow, or ice, wet leaves. If the roads are slick, it may be best to stay off your bike.
- Don’t forget to stick to safety tips, i.e. carrying a fixing kit, following traffic laws, riding with lights.
- If you are not really balanced, reduce the height of your seat so your feet can easily reach the ground when you are about to stop, and you can also lean your bike to one side to get onto it. After your first trimester, you may begin to lose some balance, and If the risk is relatively high, you can decide to switch cycling to a trainer or a spin class at the gym.
- You wouldn’t want to be on a bike if you feel off-balance, pay attention to how you feel after the first trimester. Most women do not feel balanced as their centre of gravity changes, but you can also decide to continue to ride throughout your pregnancy period if you are comfortable.
- Your hips get wider during pregnancy, reach a wider saddle for better support which helps to support your sit bones.
- You can decide to switch from clipless to regular flat pedals; it would make you feel safer, that is, if you are troubled about getting out of them soon.
- There is no need to change your commute method or exercise routine if you prefer a particular type of bicycle.
- Once you start to feel uncomfortable on your regular bike clothes or they’re becoming a bit tight, stop wearing them and begin to unravel the maternity-specific ones.
- When riding a bike, a helmet is the most relevant piece of protective gear you need, whether or not you are pregnant. One could sustain some nasty cuts and bruises and a head injury if one falls from a bike while cycling. Accidental falls also may be harmful to your baby and can even cause miscarriage.
- Endeavour to ride with a partner mainly toward the end of your pregnancy as an added precaution. It is good to ride with a partner for safety and give you a little boost up the hills. If you don’t want to go out with a partner, ensure to ride with a cell phone and ID.
The American College of Sports Medicine’s Health and Fitness Journal published A study in September 2020 that recommends that pregnant women aim for 150 minutes or more of regular exercise a week over several days; such exercise can lower the chances of complications during pregnancy.
If you are a good rider who has been riding for years and is balanced or relaxed on the bike, keep riding.
It’s always good advice, but it’s at times difficult to do, mainly when you’re wading into the waters of pregnancy, which can barely be predictable.
So much advice will be given to you whether you want it or not. You will begin to guess your every move. People you do not know and have not seen will criticize you if they don’t like what you’re doing.
But, as long as you still feel love riding and your doctor says you can go ahead to ride, it is safe to ride a bike while pregnant.