Bike Riding While Pregnant: Everything You Need to Know

If you loved riding a bike before pregnancy, you may be wondering if it’s okay to ride a bike while pregnant. There are many aspects of riding a bike while pregnant that could be considered, like the intensity of biking, the way your knees are moving, or even falling off the bike. Bike riding can be a safe exercise if you choose a low-impact option. However, always check with your doctor if it’s safe to ride a bike, especially after the first trimester because every pregnancy is different. There are a few safety precautions you should keep in mind when biking while pregnant. So, here’s everything you need to know for bike riding while pregnant. 

Slow It Down

If you’re feeling well and your doctor says you can ride a bike, even after your first trimester, this is not the time to train or increase your endurance. Riding a bike during pregnancy can be a great exercise, however, don’t try to improve your speed. Bike riding should be comfortable, and you shouldn’t be losing your breath or breathing heavily. If you start getting tired or can’t talk normally, then it’s time to stop biking. You shouldn’t feel bad if you can’t ride a bike the way you used to before because you’re growing a baby and that is a lot of work. A great option for pregnant women who love riding a bike is choosing an electric motorized bicycle. An electric bike can make going uphill easier or you can just use an extra push when you don’t feel like moving your knees much. 

Safety Precautions

If you have any of the common concerns while being pregnant, don’t just jump on the bicycle and start riding. It’s important to always check with your doctor whether it’s safe and okay for you to ride a bike. Also, regularly check your pregnancy with your doctor, especially after the first trimester, and see if you’re fine riding a bike. Remember that any fall can cause trauma, so it’s essential to stay safe. Even if you used to ride a bicycle before pregnancy, that doesn’t mean you won’t be affected by the change of center of gravity and ligament laxity. Also, make sure to avoid traffic, weather that can affect the terrain, and other unpredictable cyclist and pedestrians. Always trust your body and read your body’s cues. If you’re sensing something is wrong or uncomfortable, just slow down or stop and take a rest. 

Depending on the position of the baby, your bike riding can be more or less comfortable. For example, if you’re carrying low, riding a bicycle can be less enjoyable. Instead of cycling, you can choose to walk or go swimming as a safer activity. Take your time, don’t rush when riding a bike and always bring a bottle of water to stay hydrated. A moderate and low-impact aerobic exercise is great for your health but do a self-check and do a talk test. A talk test is where you’re able to carry on a conversation while cycling and it means you’re not overdoing the exercise. 

Maternity-Specific Gear

Once you become more pregnant and your clothes start getting tight, it’s time to switch to maternity-specific ones. You can find maternity shorts that can fit perfectly over your belly and make your bike riding experience more enjoyable. In addition, your bicycle may need a few modifications for added safety and comfort. If you can’t reach handlebars comfortably, then you can switch to swept-back ones or try a shorter stem for a more upright position. Also, a mountain bike with a step-thru frame is a good option if your belly is getting big. Don’t forget to upgrade your saddle for more comfortable and better support on your sit bones. Another great modification is switching clipless pedals for flat pedals. Flat pedals can make you feel safer while bike riding pregnant. 

Stationary Bikes

Stationary bikes are the perfect alternative for pregnant women who can’t ride outdoor bicycles. It’s a safer option that offers the same benefits as regular cycling. However, even if you choose to ride a stationary bike, check with your doctor if that’s all right. A stationary bike provides low-impact and cardiovascular benefits. With a stationary bike, you can rest assured you’re not falling down, which can be a risk factor. Whether you’re cycling outdoors or indoors, bike riding is great for blood sugar, boosting your energy, and improving circulation. 

Riding a bike while pregnant is a nice way to get needed exercise. But always check with your doctor first if you’re able to cycle, especially after the first trimester. Every pregnancy is unique and there’s no general answer for your specific condition. Listen to your body, don’t rush, and adjust the bike to your needs. 

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