Lindsay Goldman, a professional racer (and current manager) of the Hagens Berman Supermint women’s cycling team, recently gave birth to a healthy child.
She continued training while pregnant, frequently posting to social media with her workouts. Her goal is to return to professional racing by the end of 2018.
An ambitious goal for most, but, for the healthy, active momma, bicycling while pregnant can be an ideal choice for prenatal exercise.
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In this article, we discuss how the bicycle can revolutionize your health when pregnant. For more information, you can check here for cheap beginner road bikes: www.davescheapbikes.com/cheap-road-bikes/road-bikes-for-beginners
Regular exercise can reduce your risk of complications such as preeclampsia and gestational diabetes. According to some studies, it also reduces the risk of having an over-size child by 58% which allows for an easier birth experience with a lowered risk of a C-section.
Plus, you get the added benefit of better sleep each night.
Bicycling While Pregnant: A Good Idea?
Answer: It is! Most doctors encourage some form of exercise during pregnancy as it is beneficial to both mother and child. Cycling is an excellent, low-impact choice. However, during the third trimester when your center of gravity shifts and you become a bit more clumsy, riding a bike is probably not a great idea secondary to the risk of falling and possibly injuring the baby.
For the experienced rider, however, falling off the bike is no more likely than injuring yourself during any other activity.
Your level of fitness before becoming pregnant is going to dictate much of the intensity that you can workout at during the pregnancy. Pregnancy is not the time to take on new, aggressive, workout plans, deep caloric restrictions or new weight loss goals.
However, it is feasible for many moms to continue to workout at their existing level of fitness — or just underneath it — for much of their pregnancy.
Of course, pregnancy is a significant motivation for many women to begin paying closer attention to their health. For these women, low impact exercises are ideal. Many new mothers choose to pick up yoga, Pilates, water aerobics or cycling. Low-level resistance training is ok as well.
Staying Hydrated Is Key
Listening to your body will be one of the most important things that you do during this time. Experienced athletes have a pretty good idea of what their body can handle. Once you are pregnant, many of those signals (such as lightheadedness or thirstiness) change. You also have new “signals.” Contractions are a significant sign that you are overdoing it and that your body needs a break and plenty of hydration.
Hydration is key. Hydration powers the water in the womb and ensures that your child will stay protected and that the tissues won’t become irritated or try to start labor prematurely.
Proactively drink way more water than you think is necessary during your workout. And be prepared to stop and lie down if you feel that something is not right.
How To Ride a Bike When You Are Expecting
Comfort is critical, and you may need some upgrades to ensure you stay comfortable when riding.
One of the first things to look at is your bike seat. Most dedicated cyclists use a minimalist saddle and rely on padded shorts to provide the comfort. The expectant cyclist may choose to purchase a more heavily padded saddle option to enhance comfort.
Maternity cycling clothes also become a challenge. Most mothers use generic maternity workout clothes or invest in a set of cycling bibs and jerseys that are a couple of sizes too large.
For those of you with road bikes, you may find that it adds significant comfort to switch to a hybrid bike with a more upright positioning. At the least, you can add a stem riser or a stem with a more upright angle.
Spin Class and Indoor Bikes As A Safer Alternative
Many ladies enjoy riding but find their bikes to be uncomfortable for long workouts or too inconvenient to get out of the garage.
A smart alternative is to use the indoor bike. For the extrovert, your local Spin class is a fun way to meet new people and enjoy a coached workout session.
The introvert is going to enjoy the peace of a solo exercise bike workout either at the gym or at home. Folding exercise bikes can be purchased very cheaply and work well in any house for year-round fitness.
Cycling is also an excellent postnatal activity. Allow 8 weeks for your body to heal, and then enjoy the bicycle as a great way to regain your fitness and get outside!
When not pregnant, it is possible to ride at an intensity level that will burn 600-900 calories per hour. It’s all about how hard you want to push!