Bicycling Safely While Pregnant
Many women when they reach the third trimester find that it is much harder to exercise than during the previous trimesters due to the extra weight and swelling in the feet. It may also be more difficult to breathe deeply as the baby grows and squishes your lungs.
As a result, many of these women turn from walking or running, their traditional form of exercise, to biking. Biking allows women in the third trimester to get their increased weight off their feet without ceasing to exercise.
This is important because you do want to relieve the stress on your feet, ankles, and lower legs, but you always want to reap the benefits that exercising has to offer both the mother and the baby. Besides, biking is very appealing in many ways.
It is much faster than running, so you will be able to see more of the area around you and it is quite fun. In addition, it does not cost too much to purchase a bicycle that you can use in comparison to a gym membership or some of the other alternatives you may look into.
However, there are several things that you should keep in mind as you bike so that you will not put your unborn child at risk. The first thing you should be aware of is that you should not bike if you were not completely confident and comfortable on a bicycle before you became pregnant.
You do not want to be falling over all of the time and risking damage to your stomach or your baby. In fact, if you are having difficulty balancing correctly now, even though you were confident before, you should avoid riding.
Instead, you may want to try out the more stable alternative of the stationary bicycle. If you have never ridden a bike before, then this would be a safe way to learn as it does not have the element of balancing.
You should definitely not try to learn how to use a real bicycle while you are pregnant. It is a very good idea to learn later.
However, if you are comfortable with balancing, you will also want to carefully select the areas you choose to travel through. You do not want to pick an area where there are heavy amounts of traffic or where people constantly run through stop signs.
It could be very dangerous to put yourself in a high risk situation like this as if one car hits you, you could lose the baby. However, quieter streets that you are familiar with can be quite safe.
Of course, you should still wear a helmet and use caution so that you do not take any unnecessary risks. Most pregnant women do not need to be warned as they have already developed a particular sense and special concern for the health of their child.
However, it is important for you to follow the rules of the road as well as this will also lower the risk that you will get hit by a driver. It is also a good idea to use a bell, lights, reflectors, and a helmet to increase your safety.
Another thing that you may want to have with you is a lock. Sometimes you may get tired before you return home.
If you have a lock with you, you will be able to lock up your bike and rest on a bench. Or if you are really tired, you could get on a bus to take you home.
It is a good idea if you are constantly getting tired to invest in a stationary bicycle for your home. This will allow you to stop and lie down whenever you need to and will still provide you with the opportunity to exercise.
As you get closer and closer to labor, this is a particularly good idea as you could go into labor at any time. You do not want to be far from home when this happens so that you can easily go to the hospital.
Remember to watch your heart rate as you work out as you will not want it to rise above 140 beats per minute. If your heart rate rises above this level, you will be making your heart work too hard and it will not be able to supply your baby with enough oxygen.
Even though this is something you should watch out for, exercise is still something that you will want to participate in. There are too many benefits to be had to avoid it.
Jack Landry is a personal trainer and has authored hundreds of articles relating to physical training and spinning bikes. He has been a health expert and physical trainer for over 15 years.
Jack R. Landry