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What You Need to Know About Bicycle Riding During Pregnancy?

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/7/2006 | Sports

You love to ride bicycles but you are now expecting a new member in your life who might also love to ride a bicycle. Now youre in a dilemma whether to continue or to give up your love and lose your fitness. No, you can be sure you dont have to do that. You can benefit immensely if you continue riding bicycle during your pregnancy. Though most of you won't be able to ride for the entire pregnancy, but you probably will be able to for quite a long time if you are already an avid cyclist. But there are some issues, which you must take into consideration if you want to continue cycling during pregnancy.

First of all, keep in mind that your body is now completely changed. You should always be cautious and it is better to consult your doctor if you need to. During pregnancy you need to have an additional 300 calories every day. If you are riding even a short distance then youll need 500 calories for even a short ride.

Cycling is a wonderful low-impact aerobic exercise, but you will still need to take care if you are cycling while pregnant. This is because your center of gravity will begin to shift starting around four months gestation, causing balance problems. You might suffer from balance problems and "placenta brains" including forgetfulness and klutziness. Therefore from the very beginning, you should avoid sharp turns and always avoid staying too close to anybodys wheels if you are riding in a group.

Please dont fall. But even that crash happens normally the baby is not hurt unless your injury is bad. But immediately consult a doctor if you experience a decrease in fetal movement, tender or painful uterus, uterine contractions, and fluid leaking, or bleeding.

Dont decide to learn cycling because you are not in shape and want to exercise during pregnancy, because it requires balance, which lacks in pregnant women

It is always an intelligent step to avoid rough terrain. Better, ride on smoothly paved roads.

You must remember one thing. You have to stay hydrated always, while riding during pregnancy. This is because your body needs to make amniotic fluid for your baby, and that takes more water than you normally need. Moreover you tend to sweat more during pregnancy and thus lose fluids. Furthermore, even when you stop cycling, you need to stay very well hydrated so that you don't let your levels of oxytocin get too high, causing contractions.

Carry a heart rate monitor while youre riding. If your pulse rate exceeds 140 beats per minute, stop riding immediately. You must also stop riding if you are out of breath from talking, because that also proves you are tired. Remember, if you are short of breath, so is your baby.

If you want to sit straight on the bicycle, then raise the handlebar stem up as far as possible. Try tilting the seat down a little to see if that will shift some of your weight to your arms and away from your pelvis. If you feel too much strain on your back, you might even try using a longer stem.

Put on clothes that fit you. You might go for bigger t-shirt and shorts that fit. If you find feet are swelling then stop wearing regular athletic shoes and switch to a platform pedal. 

You can also try the option of riding a recumbent bicycle, which would take some of the pressure off your pelvis, but starts to soften as pregnancy progresses, possibly causing you pain. You could also try riding on a stationary trainer to gain control over environmental factors. This will help to keep your heart rate down and you won't crash!

Always remember before going for bicycle riding, it is better to consult your physician and ask for advice.