Pedaling Through Pregnancy
SO, YOU'RE KNOCKED UP. WHAT NEXT?
Exercising is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself and your growing baby.
"Exercise during pregnancy helps reduce stress, prevents perinatal depression, and alleviates anxiety," says Kristina Pinto, Ed.D., author of Fit and Healthy Pregnancy: How to Stay Strong and in Shape for You and Your Baby. "It also allows you to improve your cardiovascular health and build strength for labor, delivery, and recovery from childbirth."
And if a community based, musically driven, full-body workout isn't enough, there are HUGE benefits to take cycling classes while pregnant.
First we must mentioned that every pregnancy is different, so always consult your doctor before starting a new workout routine. That said, most doctors agree that moms-to-be can -and often encourage- exercise during pregnancy. Indoor cycling in particular is popular amongst pregnant women because it is low impact (easy on the joints) and very safe. The community atmosphere at Shift Cycle is also extremely inclusive and a hell of a good time for all those fun loving mamas out there. Plus, a spin bike lets you determine how hard you work & push yourself. So if you’re listening to your body you can cycle up to the day you deliver (just ask Jami Jacobs).
Still got questions about riding while pregnant?
I love the intensity of Shift class, but is it TOO intense for a mom-to-be?
Shift Cycle classes were created to appeal to all fitness levels, pregnant or not! Your body will tell you what is too intense and it’s your job to listen to that message. If it feels too intense or uncomfortable, turn down the resistance or change positions. It is about you and your baby. As you progress through your pregnancy, start to substitute quick sprints for slower, heavier resistance ones. There are modifications for every set and move.
How often should I be riding?
Pregnant women who already ride can continue to ride (with their doctor’s permission) at the frequency that feels good. It's probably not the time to ramp up to two-a-days, but there is no need to pull back until your body tells you to.
How far into my pregnancy can I ride?
We have lots of pregnant women who ride throughout their entire pregnancy. One of our rockstar riders rode the day she went into labor! (She is our pregnancy idol) Again, it comes down to listening to your body.
How can I modify my ride to make it as safe and efficient as possible?
There are a few tricks that will help your pregnant body feel great on the bike. First, raise your handlebars as your pregnancy progresses. The higher the handlebars, the easier it is for your lower back. Also, as your belly grows, a bit of height on the handlebars will require less of a forward bend when seated. Second, use your breath. Remembering to breathe is always key, but as the baby takes up more space and your lungs have less capacity, you’ll need all the oxygen you can get.
...and like that, mom (and babe) still get to enjoy some endorphin pumping cardio to keep everyone happy and healthy!
Have more questions? Just ask one of Shift's instructors for more tips on pedaling through pregnancy.