When you’re pregnant, it’s important to take care of yourself and your unborn child. Sitting on a bike during pregnancy can be a great way to stay active, but you need to make sure you’re doing it safely. Here are some tips for sitting on a bike during pregnancy.
Start Slow: The first thing you need to do is start slow. Cycling while pregnant isn’t the same as cycling when you’re not pregnant, and this means that your body will be under different stresses than usual. This can take a toll if you try to jump back into riding immediately after being off of it for several months or more, so start slow and work your way up. The first ride should be a short, light one to get you back into the swing of things. Your body will need time to adapt to the stresses that bike riding puts on it again, so don’t push yourself too hard or try going for very long distances at first.
Assess Your Energy Level: It’s important, to be honest with how much energy you have when getting back into biking after pregnancy. Riding your bike while pregnant takes more effort than riding when you’re not, and this is something both your body and mind need to get used to. If you aren’t feeling up for a long ride or one that goes at high speeds, don’t be afraid to take an easier day. It’s always better to go slow and build up over time than it is to push the envelope only to end up exhausted halfway through your ride or too sore to enjoy yourself afterward.
Get a Bike Fit: This may seem like an unnecessary expense, but getting a bike fit can make all the difference during your bike riding while pregnant. A bike can be a place of discomfort if it doesn’t fit you properly, and this can make the entire experience more challenging.
Wear a Helmet: Another important safety tip is to wear a helmet that fits well and offers plenty of protection for both you and your unborn child. Wearing an ill-fitting, damaged, or cheap helmet can make an accident more dangerous than you might think.
Start Slowly with Your Stretching: Stretching before and after your ride is important for staying flexible and avoiding injury. However, it’s also easy to overdo it if you’re not careful, especially when beginning your biking experience again after pregnancy. Start slowly with your stretching and increase it gradually, but don’t push yourself to the point of pain if you’re starting out again after some time away from cycling.
Make Sure You Have Proper Gear: Regardless of whether or not you’re pregnant, having the proper gear (helmet, gloves, etc.) is essential for keeping yourself safe while biking. However, it’s especially important if you’re riding while pregnant. Getting a padded seat can make an enormous difference in your comfort and enjoyment levels as well.
Look Out for Potholes and Other Road Hazards: Potholes and other road hazards are always present somewhere nearby, no matter where you live. A sudden bump or hole can make it easy for even experienced cyclists to lose control of their bikes and possibly injure themselves. Keep your eyes peeled and be extra careful around these kinds of hazards, as they’re very dangerous while pregnant, even if you’re usually okay with them.
Make the Most of Your Time: You might find that you have a lot of time on your hands during your pregnancy, and this can be a perfect opportunity to get back into cycling. Riding around for an hour or two every day isn’t only a great way to exercise but can also provide a much-needed break from the stressors of pregnancy.
Ride With a Buddy: If you live alone, it might be difficult to find someone to go riding with. If this is the case, consider making a friend who also has a bike and ask them if they’re up for going on an outing together. Make sure that you both wear helmets and don’t push yourselves past your limits, and you’ll be set to enjoy a day of biking while pregnant without the risk of putting yourself in danger.
Make Sure Riding Doesn’t Hurt Your Feet, Legs or Pelvis: It can be easy to ride your bike too hard when you first start getting back into it after pregnancy but doing so can make it difficult for you to continue cycling over time due to the way that it’s affecting your body. Keep yourself comfortable on your bike, and don’t push yourself too hard, especially if you already experience discomfort while riding.
Don’t Hop off Your Bike: Suddenly Getting on or off your bike can be harder than usual during pregnancy, so try to avoid doing it quickly if you can help it. Take the time you need to get situated, adjust your seat height, and otherwise, make sure that you’re ready for the ride before taking off.
Avoid Riding During Your Contractions: While it might not seem like a big deal to go riding during your contractions, it’s probably best to avoid this if at all possible. Things can get even more dangerous if you need to stop suddenly or lose control of your bike due to your contractions, so it’s best to err on the side of safety and wait until after your contractions are finished before heading out.
Don’t Overheat: It might be hot outside, but that doesn’t mean that you should ride during the middle of the day when it’s at its hottest. This can easily lead to dehydration and intense sweating, which can make you feel faint. If it’s hot where you live, try riding earlier in the day when it’s a little bit cooler or wait until later in the evening when things have cooled down a bit.
Don’t Ride When You Have Diarrhea: Riding while having diarrhea is risky because there’s a chance that you might lose control of your bowels if something comes loose while you’re biking. This can be quite dangerous and embarrassing, so don’t take the risk and wait until things have cleared up before hopping on your bike again.
Don’t Forget to Keep Yourself Hydrated: You need to make sure that you’re drinking enough water when you’re pregnant, especially when you’re riding your bike. Thirst is often mistaken for hunger, so if it’s hot out, make sure to drink plenty of fluids before, during and after your ride to avoid becoming dehydrated.
Cycling while pregnant can be a great way to get some exercise, but it’s important to take into account the safety risks involved. Make sure you’re aware of these dangers and take steps to avoid them while riding. If you have any questions or concerns, consult your doctor before getting back on your bike.