Can you ride a bike while pregnant? Safe or Not.

Can you ride a bike while pregnant

We all know biking is a beneficial aerobic exercise that improves the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal health of the rider. There are many people around the globe who does bike riding as part of their daily exercise routine. 

Doctors suggest that healthy and pregnant women do low-impact aerobic exercise for a minimum of two and a half hours each week, which makes breathing faster and keeps the heart functioning more efficient. Cycling is a moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, but you might think, can I ride a bicycle while pregnant?

Yes, you can ride a bike while pregnant, as it is pretty safe. According to a certified professional trainer, Daniel Demesh, “Riding a bicycle during pregnancy is not necessarily risky; it is a safe and low impact aerobic exercise one can do throughout the pregnancy journey. ” 

Not only cycling, a woman who is pregnant and healthy can do aerobic exercise, like swimming or walking without any problem as long as she feels confident, but it is always advised to take basic precautions and get a doctor’s suggestion as they will have more insight about your health conditions.

Benefits of cycling during pregnancy

Regular exercise helps to avoid the chance of developing pregnancy-related complications and ease discomfort. Exercising is safe and beneficial for the majority of pregnant women and the baby. Here are a few of the main benefits of cycling during pregnancy.

There are a lot of benefits of cycling for pregnant women cycling is an excellent way to maintain the body and mind well-balanced, and it can boost energy by keeping lungs, heart and blood vessels stronger.

Cycling helps reduce the commonly-experienced discomforts that can arise during pregnancy, like abdominal pain, constipation, and swelling in the ankles, legs and feet.

If you are already pregnant, let me tell you another significant benefit. Bike riding reduces the chances of developing pregnancy-related complications like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Therefore, reduces the chance of problems like preterm birth (birth before the 37th week of gestation) and emergency Cesarean birth (also known as C-section).

Cycling during your pregnancy will let you gain the proper quantity of weight and manage your stress and rest better. It also helps to get your body ready for the birth process and labour. 

Though bike riding is safe during pregnancy, try to ride the bike on paved surfaces and not in adventurous mountain terrain, as that will do more harm than good. Also, be careful about your sitting posture; it must not cause any problem to your baby bump. Please avoid other activities like hot yoga, basketball, horseback riding, downhill skiing, scuba diving, etc. 

How long can you ride a bike while pregnant?

How long can you ride a bike while pregnant

Now that we all know that a pregnant woman can ride bikes, the next essential question that comes to your mind is, “how long can you ride a bike while pregnant ?

You can continue riding your bike throughout your pregnancy period, specifically till mid of the third trimester. As cycling outdoors is associated with significant risks like the possibility of falling and causing an abdominal injury, hence while pregnant, you need to “take special attention” but remain active to stay healthy and fit.

Though Obstetricians and Gynaecologists advise doing cycling for the maximum weeks possible, we know few women who were forced to quit bike riding during the first trimester, as they started feeling pain while riding a bike while pregnant.

If you don’t know what a trimester is, a woman’s pregnancy is divided into three trimesters. They are the first, second and third trimesters. The first trimester starts from conception to 12 weeks. The second trimester marks the middle of the pregnancy spanning 13 to 26th weeks. The third trimester spans the 27th week to the time you have your baby, generally at the beginning of week 40.

As The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ advised, a pregnant woman can continue cycling into the second and third trimester but needs to seek advice from a physician and stay in good health.

Is it safe to ride a bike while pregnant?

Is it safe to ride a bike while pregnant

If you ask me whether a knife is a safe tool or not, I will say it depends. Because cutting vegetables or meat is a task where we are using it, and it seems pretty safe if handled carefully, but if you are not attentive, it may cause you to bleed your hand.

In the same way, bike riding is relatively safe but not 100% secure, and there is always a chance of mishappening if you are not very careful. Suppose by any chance you fell from a bike during your pregnancy. In that case, it may cause minor trauma to the fetus’s brain, which can cause an abnormal heartbeat, abdominal pain, uterine contractions, an increase in uterine activity and many other complications.

Hence please don’t just read the guides available on the internet and start following blindly. Always understand your body’s comfort and seek advice from an expert doctor and trainer near you. If they suggest you continue cycling after a health check, please do, and if they discourage you, please quit immediately. Taking unnecessary bold steps may bring significant danger in future.

Can you use a stationary exercise bike when pregnant?

Can you use a stationary exercise bike when pregnant

As you might have already read in the above that riding bike in the outdoor while pregnant may sometimes cause problems. Especially if you fell from a bike or your sitting posture is wrong. To mitigate these risks, you can ride a Stationary Exercise Bike (A special-purpose indoor bicycle without wheels).

Riding that involves indoor cycling during pregnancy is usually considered safe and recommended by medical professionals. Be sure to keep an eye on the heart rate or RPE to ensure you don’t go overboard. In general, you should be able to keep a conversation going when cycling.

Frequently Asked Questions :

Can you ride a bike while pregnant during the first/second/third trimester?

Yes, you can ride a bike as long as you feel comfortable and under control, and your body must permit you to handle the bike comfortably without making you feel stressed. The First, second and Third trimester is just a timeline in your pregnancy journey, and everyone will experience it in a different manner. 

Whatever you might be observing in this phase might be completely opposite in the case of others. Hence technically, it is feasible to ride the bike during any trimester with an extra bit of care in the later part.

Can I ride a bike at 38/ 36 / 34 / 32 / 30 / 28 / 20 weeks pregnant? 

The journey of pregnancy is around 40 weeks long. Generally, you can ride a bike from 1st week to the 36th week, but you have to keep in mind that cycling should not be the reason for discomfort, and you must not make it very hard. 

Always remember, it is possible doesn’t mean you should do it. We always advise you to seek a doctor’s suggestion before starting or continuing cycling during any week of your pregnancy.

Can you ride a bike 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 months pregnant ?

If you love cycling, you might feel confused about how many months you can cycle while pregnant. Honestly, there is no such hard and fast rule to it. We know a few women who kept cycling in the 9th month of pregnancy and many who quit by the 5th month.

We are trying to say to listen to your doctor’s advice and inner feelings. If the health condition supports, keep cycling; if it doesn’t, stop it and find out an alternative.

Is bike travel safe during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, it is recommended to avoid travelling on two-wheelers. As a traffic, bumpy roads will cause a higher impact to your body during your travel with a bike, but there is always an exception; if the road condition is good, you may plan to travel by bike during pregnancy.

If you are a frequent traveller on bike, It is recommended to talk about this with your doctor. The best thing you can do is cancel any long travel by bike, but if you really need to, please follow the suggestion below to make your bike travel safe during pregnancy.

1. Always wear your helmets/seatbelts
2. Beware of the heaviest traffic or bumpy roads.
3. Be sure to maintain your balance while riding the bike
4. Do not travel if you feel exhausted or dizzy.
5. Protect yourself from extreme weather conditions.
6. Avoid riding on days with rain as the roads are more likely to become slippery.

Can riding a bike cause miscarriage?

No. Bike riding doesn’t cause any miscarriage. But if you accidentally get hit on your baby bump or fall from a bike and the fetus gets impacted, or your pregnancy is a little complicated, it may cause miscarriage; otherwise, it is safe to ride a bike while pregnant.

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