Is It Safe To Ride Bikes While Pregnant?
You have to give up so many things when you’re pregnant and it seems so unfair to have to relinquish something that should be so healthy, but many women who happen to enjoy pedalling a bicycle around wonder if it might do harm to their unborn baby, or themselves.
As is the case with most exercise during pregnancy, it should be done in moderation. If your general health is good and you are not suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes or other complications considered high risk, then there should be very little keeping you from your two-wheeler. You’re always best advised to communicate with your doctor about the kinds of activities you’d like to engage in, and you’ll find that he’ll be very pleased to hear about your active pursuits.
Pregnant Moms should aim to maintain a good level of fitness, eat well and avoid gaining too much excess weight. For some, this means taking a daily walk around the block, others might prefer swimming or dancing. Biking enthusiasts would be very disappointed to be told they can’t indulge in some pedal power for a whole nine months!
How energetic you are during your bike rides depends on how well and how lively you feel. Carrying extra pounds that crept on rather suddenly can be a little uncomfortable of course, but it can also mean that your sense of balance is somewhat affected, so always be sure to take things slowly at first, whenever you ride. Your body is changing so rapidly that you need to be sure of your footing before setting off. Using a heart rate monitor on your ride will enable you to maintain your heart rate below 140 beats per minute which is a general recommendation for pregnant women.
It is essential that you avoid exhaustion at all cost. You must take it easy when pregnant, more so than under normal circumstances. Stop when you feel tired and rest until you feel refreshed enough to carry on. Consider pedalling shorter distances and doing a second circuit if you feel happy to go around again. You should not ride to a point where you feel breathless or faint. Instead, scale down your regular pace and distance to suit your condition. Don’t allow your body to overheat as this can be hazardous to a developing fetus, particularly in the first trimester. Riding in hot weather is not a good idea and you should have a backup plan if you insist on exercising. A hot day is the perfect chance to go for a swim instead.
Carrying a water bottle with you is vital. Keeping yourself well hydrated is important whether pregnant or not, so make sure you top up frequently.
Safety is key when riding bikes, pregnant or not. Always wear a helmet and keep your bike in order, ensuring that the brakes, lights and reflectors are all functioning properly. Avoid areas of high traffic or perilous terrain. The last thing you need when pregnant is abdominal trauma caused by crashing or falling off your bike, especially during the third trimester. A switch to an indoor stationary bike is an excellent idea for this period of your pregnancy.
Riding a bike while pregnant is a wonderful way to keep off excess weight and stay fit. Just check with your doctor to make sure there are no issues to consider, and pay attention to your body’s signs that you may be overdoing it.