Lots of women prefer using an exercise bike while pregnant. But, is it safe? Although your body is already working hard growing and carrying a baby, exercise during pregnancy can offer you many benefits and help you to prepare for labor.
Before you start any training remember that it is important to talk to your doctor about exercise and pregnancy precautions and tips. The safety of this training depends on your own medical condition.
Cycling on an exercise bike is a safe form of work out, just make sure you don’t overdo it. Working out during pregnancy will lift your spirit and prepare you for labor, but it is crucial for the safety of the baby to be extra cautious. You can choose different types of exercise bikes on the market for a safe workout at your home.
As for the safety
The great thing about cycling is that the bike supports your weight, so there is less stress on your body. It is important to start with low-intensity exercise and do not over-exert yourself.
”Even if you are new to cycling or spin class, this is still a safe, fun option as long as you pace yourself appropriately and start off with shorter routines. It is also important to stay seated on the bike, as standing increases intensity and risk of falling, or joint pain.”, according to American Pregnancy Association.
Choosing the right bike
Choosing the right exercise bike during pregnancy is very important. Always choose the one with a comfortable seat. A recumbent bike with a cushioned back will be a perfect choice if you are having back pain problem. Also, look for the one with a heart rate monitor that can measure your pulse while you are cycling, or you can use your own during exercise.
Benefits of working out during pregnancy
”Moderate exercise in healthy pregnant women does not increase the risk of miscarriage, preterm labor, or rupture of the membrane. Not exercising increases the risk for complications, including low-birth weight babies. Exercising increases the fetal heart rate, which in turn protects the baby.”, according to University of Maryland Medical Center.
Training during pregnancy will reduce your back pain and increase your energy level. It will also improve your sleep habits, fitness, and circulation. Exercising on the bike decreases the risk of pregnancy complications such as pregnancy-induced hypertension and pre-eclampsia.
Warming up prepares your joints and muscles for training and increases your pulse slowly. Start working out at a low-intensity and then slowly increase it after first 5 minutes. Drink plenty of water.
Dehydration can increase the risk of overheating and sometimes trigger contractions. So, it is not enough to only drink the water after training, use it also before and during exercise.
Always listen and pay attention to your body and stop if something starts to hurt. After training do some pregnancy stretching. Rest quietly for about half an hour after working out.
According to What to Expect there are several signs to slow down. Some of them include excessive fatigue, irritability, joint or muscle pain and trouble sleeping.
”Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout. Signs of dehydration include dizziness, a racing or pounding heart, and urinating only small amounts or having urine that is dark yellow. Wear a sports bra that gives lots of support to help protect your breasts. Later in pregnancy, a belly support belt may reduce discomfort while walking or running. Avoid becoming overheated, especially in the first trimester. Drink plenty of water, wear loose-fitting clothing, and exercise in a temperature-controlled room. Do not exercise outside when it is very hot or humid.”, according to ACOG (the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists)
Call your doctor if you are having any side effects while training. That include dizziness, vaginal bleeding, contractions, shortness of breath and nausea. Immediately discontinue your activity.
There are many health benefits for women who works out during pregnancy including improved fitness level, better weight control, and improved mood. Consult with a doctor to help you choose a suitable training program for you, or to modify the existing one.