There are plenty of myths around exercising while pregnant, and this includes cycling. Can you use an exercise bike when pregnant?
Of course, the purpose of exercise is to become healthy and fit, but pregnancies are precarious situations, and you do need to change your behavior to make sure whatever you do is good for you and the baby.
Exercising during pregnancies is good for multiple things – from blood circulation to just boosting your mood – which are needed for childbirth. Using an exercise bike during pregnancy is considered beneficial for both the child, and the mother.
As in all other activities during pregnancies, it is important to take certain precautions to make sure you’re not overworking or harming yourself.
In our research, we came across various things to keep in mind if you’re planning on using an exercise bike during your pregnancy. To make things easier for you, we collected all of this information in one place.
Indoor Cycling During Pregnancy
While using an exercise bike is generally considered to be okay while pregnant, there are always concerns around the situation. Before using the bike, you should get approval from your doctor to make sure that using the exercise bike will not harm you in any way. If your doctor does clear you, remember that you are not exercising just for yourself, but also for your child.
This means that your heart rate can rise a lot faster than it would otherwise, and you’d become overheated. It’s best to take it easier during exercise than you would if you weren’t pregnant.
It’s also a good idea to continue any exercises you were doing before you got pregnant than to start with a brand new routine. Unless your doctor specifically advises you to opt for a certain type of exercise, it is best to go with what you were doing before.
Benefits of Using an Exercise Bike During Pregnancies
Pregnancies bring with them complaints such as nausea or back pain, due to all the bodily changes. Most women who do not lead active lifestyles complain about these issues, and using an exercise bike can help relieve these symptoms. Because of the improved blood circulation, you can reduce discomfort if you maintain a steady exercise regime.
Reducing Labor Times
Labor pains can be unbearable, and longer labor time means more pain. Having an active lifestyle allows your muscles to stretch and makes your body become more flexible. Even if you weren’t active before, exercising during pregnancy helps a great deal. Women who exercise during pregnancies tend to have shorter labor periods, which also greatly reduces the pain.
Improving Mental Health
Pregnancy can be a stressful time. From hormonal changes to bodily changes, there is a lot going on, and can cause mental health problems like stress and depression. Exercise helps with improving blood circulation and produces endorphins that allow improved mental health. Exercise bikes are a very simple routine, and require little to no help from others. With an exercise bike, pregnant women can take care of their mental health as well as get the other benefits of exercise.
Maintaining Body Shape
Many women also face a lot of stress due to the weight gain and the change in their body shape because of pregnancy. Besides self-image, these issues are also important to look after because they can result in more serious problems like diabetes. Using an exercise bike helps with maintaining the weight and shape and avoids stretch marks. Continuing this past childbirth will also help with returning back to your original weight and shape without putting you or your child in any kind of danger.
There are plenty of benefits of using an exercise bike during pregnancy, but if you are opting for it, it is best to keep certain things in mind.
Tips for Using an Exercise Bike While Pregnant
Talk to Your Instructor
Rather than going for it on your own, it’s best to find an instructor who has experience dealing with pregnant people and knows how to train you properly. There are plenty of indoor cycling classes where you can simply tell your instructor that you are pregnant and they will come up with a special regime for you. Pushing yourself too hard can cause damage, but not doing any exercise at all is also not a good idea.
When pregnant, overheating and dehydration can become extremely dangerous and are both common. In fact, since we’re used to caring for our bodies for ourselves, we’re used to our limits but pregnancy pushes these things around. When exercising indoors – whether that’s with an exercise bike or anything else – make sure to drink a lot of water and wear comfortable clothes that will keep you cool.
Adjust the Bike
Pregnancies change your body, and you may have to adjust the bike a bit to make yourself more comfortable. Saddle position and handlebars are usually the first thing people go for. It’s best to sit upright instead of leaning forward. This will relieve the pressure and stress on your lower back.
It’s also important to keep your body weight distributed evenly everywhere. For this, it’s best to either adjust your settings to make sure your bike stays in one position, or avoid moveable bikes. Many bikes come with settings that make them mimic outdoor riding conditions, but in pregnancies, this can be dangerous.
Take It Easy
Even if you are used to a heavy workout, remember that your body is not the same during pregnancy. Your limits do not stretch as far as they used to, and if you work yourself too hard, you’ll end up hurting yourself and your child.
It’s best to exercise at a moderate rate where you’re not pushing yourself too much, or taking it too easy. A heart rate monitor may be a good investment to make sure you’re not overworking yourself.
In fact, you shouldn’t wait till your heart rate rises, either. If you feel out of breath or lightheaded, it is best to stop.
For the first few months, you’ll probably be able to continue exercising while standing without having any trouble. But as your body changes, the center of gravity shifts and the pressure on your joints increases. Because of this, you will have trouble riding your exercise bike while standing, so it is best to stay seated. This can protect your joints and keep you from pushing yourself.
If you’re concerned about how well you’d be able to exercise if you’re seated the whole time, don’t worry. You can get a pretty decent workout down with cycling, even if you don’t stand.
Most importantly, you should care for your body and stay safe.
Listen to Your Body
Again – your body changes during pregnancy, and your limits do not stretch as far as they used to. When using an exercise bike, you should keep an eye on your physical condition to make sure you’re not pushing yourself too hard.
If you feel dizzy or lightheaded while riding, it’s a good idea to take a break or even stop.
If you feel any sharp pains or contractions, make sure to contact your doctor about it immediately. Exercise is good for pregnant mothers, but it can also be too much if you don’t take care of yourself.
About THE AUTHOR
Mountain biking is more than just a hobby for me - it's a way of life. I love the challenge and excitement that comes with it, and I'm always pushing myself to go faster and ride harder. Some people might think that mountain biking is dangerous, but I see it as the only way to live.Read More About Danny Lawson