Wondering if its OK to take Indoor cycling class during pregnancy?? If its been part of your fitness routine and your OBG gives you the OK there is no reason you cannot continue participating (with modifications) through your pregnancy. For me it was the perfect low impact cardio workout, I had to give up running early on because my bladder just couldn’t handle it, however I was able to keep cycling until 34 weeks. Here are some tips from my experience.
- Drink plenty of water! Before, during and after class. I know this sounds like a nightmare when you’re pregnant, but good hydration is essential, even if you aren’t pregnant!
- Make sure your bike is set up properly. As your belly gets bigger, you’ll start to feel cramped when you’re holding on to the handlebars. Raising them up a notch or two can help. If you do this, make sure to have the instructor double-check the rest of your adjustments. The slightest tweak can (sometimes) affect the rest of your settings.
- Be careful when riding out of the saddle. Your center of gravity is off right now, which makes balance tricky. If you cannot hold proper form, or if you feel less than steady, ride in the saddle. Turn standing climbs into seated climbs.
Turn sprints into manageable cadence/speed increases. If you’ve ever done a sprint in a indoor cycling class, you know that it shoots your heart rate through the roof. You’ll still want to be careful with extended periods of high heart rate work. And by “high heart rate,” I mean at max, which is where sprints can take you. Play it safe and stay effective by simply increasing your speed without going all out, if that makes sense.
- Stay cool. Overheating, even when you aren’t pregnant, is never a good thing. Choose a bike that situates you near a fan or some other type of airflow. It doesn’t have to be directly on
you, but having it flow around you in some way will make a huge difference in your comfort.
- Don’t let your knees fall into misalignment. When it comes to riding, proper knee placement is key. You’ve probably seen someone riding a bike, essentially pedaling with the outside of their foot, which kicks the knees out to the side. That’s bad. And that’s what your legs will want to do when the knees start hitting the belly. Again, raising the handlebar can help. But if you have to compromise form because the belly is too big, Then its time to choose another form of cardio.
- Don’t skip out on your warm-up or cool-down. Remember, it’s your ride and any good indoor cycling instructor should respect your need to warm up just a little bit longer or cool down just a little bit sooner. It goes without saying, modify your intensity throughout the ride you’re pregnant—It’s totally okay if you can’t keep up!
- If your lower back starts to hurt, sit up straight. Gravity is pulling that belly down, and this does a number on your lower back. If you start to feel it while riding, sit up straight in the saddle for a bit and realign your spine. But, if this is how you have to ride for the duration of the class, again, it might be time to pick another form of cardio. Or to adjust the handlebars.
Despite the above, as a pregnant women you need to listen to your body. This is not the time for super high intensity weight loss goals. It’s a time to maintain your health and fitness goals and overall happiness as you prepare for labour and delivery.