Is It Safe To Cycle While Pregnant?

If you're pregnant, you're likely wondering whether or not you can continue your regular exercise routine. As a general rule, you should always consult with your healthcare provider before engaging in any exercise regimen while pregnant. That being said, if you're a cycling fanatic, you likely won't have to give up your favorite activity while your bun is in the oven, as long as it is limited to stationary cycling, according to a 2020 study carried out by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

Healthline outlines everything you need to know about cycling safely while pregnant. When it comes to indoor stationary bikes, you will need to ensure you are staying hydrated during the course of the training session while also taking care not to overheat. It is important to take things easy and not push yourself to exhaustion.

While indoor cycling is relatively safe, you may want to put away your outdoor bike for the time being (via Healthline). Physical therapist Heather Jeffcoat explains, "The biggest risk with cycling outdoors is the risk of falling, leading to abdominal trauma." A fall could harm the health and safety of both you and your baby.

Although you shouldn't have any problems with indoor cycling, you should always be alert to possible symptoms of overexertion, which include abnormal contractions, headaches, chest pain, fainting, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the lower leg muscles, per Healthline. If any come up, cease activity immediately and contact your doctor for further guidance.

Safe exercises to do while pregnant

The CDC recommends that pregnant women engage in around 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity on a weekly basis for the best health outcomes. The Mayo Clinic adds that there are many benefits to maintaining a physical workout routine while pregnant as long as there are no pre-existing conditions that make this unsafe. These benefits include better quality of sleep, reduction of muscle and backaches, higher energy levels, increased mood, shortened labor, and prevention of excess weight gain. Additionally, exercise can keep your risk of developing gestational diabetes low. Fortunately, indoor cycling isn't the only safe activity during pregnancy.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) lists swimming, walking, and modified yoga and pilates as ideal exercises for pregnant women. Swimming uses many different muscle groups while reducing the impact on joints due to the buoyancy of the water. Walking also gives the entire body a workout in a safe, controlled, and low-impact manner. Finally, yoga and pilates provide necessary stretching and breathing practice, which can come in handy when it's time to give birth. Higher-impact exercises, such as running and jumping, aren't completely off-limits but should be discussed with a healthcare provider.

You should also be aware of the activities that are never advised during pregnancy (via ACOG). These include skydiving, scuba diving, and hot yoga. Any contact sports, such as ice hockey, soccer, and football, or risky sports, such as skiing and surfing, should also be avoided.