Indoor cycling is a good choice during pregnancy because it is often safer than riding a bike outdoors. This is because the bike is stationary and the risk of falling is lower. Cycling through your pregnancy offers many benefits and is a healthy way to burn calories, tone muscles and stay active, all of which helps make your pregnancy, as well as labor and delivery, easier. Talk to your obstetrician before beginning a new cycling routine.
As your pregnancy progresses and your girth increases, you may notice that your center of gravity shifts. This makes it important to take proper safety precautions when cycling to prevent an injury and maximize the workout. Most doctors advise against starting an indoor cycling routine after becoming pregnant, but may approve of it if you are already an avid indoor cycler. With pregnancy, slow the intensity and speed of your cycling session to prevent your heart rate from rising above 140 beats per minute, which could be dangerous for your baby. Hold the bars of your bike firmly to help stabilize your body as you cycle.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend getting 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week throughout your pregnancy. At this intensity you'll be slightly winded, but should still be able to carry on a conversation. Indoor cycling is a good way to reach these guidelines. Spread your cycling sessions throughout the week to optimize the benefit. For example, do 30 minutes of indoor cycling, five days a week. Or, break your sessions into 10-minute chunks if it's easier to fit it in that way.
Cardiovascular exercise burns calories, which helps you control the amount of weight you gain during your pregnancy. In addition, it strengthens and tones many of the muscles in your body, which helps you carry the extra weight associated with pregnancy. Riding an indoor bike also places less stress on your body, which makes exercise easier as you grow. Staying active and physically fit throughout your pregnancy may make labor and delivery easier and faster because your body is conditioned for the exertion required to give birth.
When to Stop
While indoor cycling may be safe for healthy pregnancies, certain conditions and symptoms may indicate a problem. If you experience any bleeding during or after cycling, contact your doctor immediately. Dizziness, chest pain and swelling are other indications that you should stop cycling and talk to your obstetrician. If you feel any contractions or leaking of fluid while cycling, stop and seek medical care right away.
Eliza Martinez has written for print and online publications. She covers a variety of topics, including parenting, nutrition, mental health, gardening, food and crafts. Martinez holds a master's degree in psychology.