Exercise during pregnancy is important and encouraged for most women. In fact, regular exercise during pregnancy has been shown to reduce weight gain and contribute to a faster recovery after birth. The following guidelines represent information that is applicable to many pregnant women, but it’s important to discuss your own guidelines with your obstetrician.
Tips for Cycling During Pregnancy Include:
Make sure you stay hydrated! It’s always important to stay hydrated, but even more so during pregnancy. Remember that your body requires more water during pregnancy, so aim for 12 glasses a day, rather than 8. Ride with a water bottle handy, and replenish yourself regularly.
Take extra care of your muscles and joints, and never ride to the point of pain. Relaxin is a chemical released in your body during pregnancy. It softens and loses your muscles and joints in preparation for childbirth (a very good thing!), but also contributes to many of the aches and pains of pregnancy. You may find that your joints and muscles ache and fatigue sooner than before. Take care and respond to the needs of your body. This may mean adjusting your rides to a shorter length or intensity.
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Your baby bump may interfere with your balance. Your growing baby bump shouldn’t come in the way of cycling, but it may make balance more difficult. Some women find their balance on the bike is not affected, but if you notice it’s more difficult to maintain, leave the bike behind for a while. It’s not worth risking a fall.
Shortness of breath affects many women during pregnancy. In fact, some women notice this as soon as the first or second month of pregnancy. During pregnancy, hormones stimulate deeper breathing in order to fully oxygenate your growing baby. Also, in the latter months of pregnancy, your lungs will be compressed a bit due to the size of your uterus. You may feel short of breath while exercising. If you feel short of breath while cycling, take a break. When you return to the bike, lower the intensity to better accommodate your abilities.
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Take note of your body! The most important tip of all is to listen to the signals that your body sends. If you feel unusually tired, do not ride that day. Exercise during pregnancy is incredibly beneficial for both you and your baby, but it’s not worth taking any chances with your pregnancy. If you feel pain or discomfort at any time, stop!
As bicycle injury attorneys, we believe that all cyclists should exercise proper caution, and this applies to pregnant cyclists, especially. If you are involved in an accident, contact Kass & Moses immediately for a free consultation.