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Bicycling During Pregnancy

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/21/2006 | Fitness
Exercising during pregnancy is something that no expectant mother should miss. Cycling is a low-impact exercise widely recommended for pregnant women, providing cardiovascular benefits and helping you to remain in great shape!

Do not forget to take in to consideration the fact that cycling (or indeed any exercise) burns more calories than resting. Pregnancy means that you will already need an extra 300 calories per day before adding on extra for exercising. Calorie counting computers are available, but your body should tell you when it is hungry, you may be surprised at how much extra you eat.

When pregnant your center of gravity can shift after the first trimester which can cause problems with balance. You may also feel a little forgetful and accident prone when pregnant so be sure to take all safety precautions and ride in a safe controlled manner, preferably in calmer areas. Try to stick to cycle routes rather than main roads!

Although your baby is well protected by the amniotic fluid you should try to avoid any potentially dangerous riding such as after rain when the roads may be wet, or riding off sealed roads on rough terrain. Also please be sure that your cycle has been inspected and that your braking system is in top condition - you are carrying more weight now than previously so it may take more effort to stop.

If you are concerned about the safety of riding a cycle when pregnant then why not consider a stationary exercise cycle. Exercising in this way will raise your heart rate and give you a good workout without the dangers that road riding can present.

Outdoors or indoors be sure to stay well hydrated. Drink plenty of water as gestation requires water to make amniotic fluids to protect your baby. You will notice that cycling will make you feel hot and you will produce more sweat than normal, so taking a bottle of water on the bike with you is very important.

When riding it would be ideal to wear a heart rate monitor. Try not to exceed 140 beats per minute pulse rate. Always be prepared to stop if you feel shortness of breath or dizziness.

Bicycling may become uncomfortable during the latter trimester of your pregnancy. At this time you may wish to consider other forms of exercise such as swimming or walking.

Always consult a medical practitioner before commencing any form of exercise program when pregnant. function SubmitRating(btn) { ratingchecked = false; if (btn.form.aRating0.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (btn.form.aRating1.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (btn.form.aRating2.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (btn.form.aRating3.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (btn.form.aRating4.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (ratingchecked) { btn.form.btnRating.value=btn.value; btn.form.submit(); } else { alert("Be sure a rating value has been selected to continue."); } }