Before delving into detail explaining Alice's top tips, it is essential to note that a few adjustments may need to be made to your bike and your riding technique. As your baby bump grows, your posture may be compromised to keep you comfortable and stable throughout your ride. Some women opt for turbo training towards the final stages of pregnancy as the bump can often make you feel a little unbalanced.
The RCOG (Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) recommends 150 minutes of low - medium exercise intensity per week. If you don't have a heart rate monitor and would like to measure low-medium intensity of exercise, see if you can hold a conversation comfortably. This is the best indication that effort exertion is in the correct band.
Alice Thomas' Top Tips For Cycling Throughout Your Pregnancy
- Adjust your position on the bike to be more upright and less aero. Adjustments such as seat height and raised handlebars allow for more room for the bump. Having your back straight and shoulders back also ensures that you aren't stretching forward to reach your handlebars. I would also recommend moving your saddle closer to your handlebars to avoid this stretch.
- Keep your core cool. Foetuses cannot self regulate their temperature yet, so it's essential to keep your core cool. If you are on a turbo, ensure you have a fan in front of you or have a cold-soaked towel readily available so you can cool off with great ease.
- Be mindful of posture. It's important to keep your back neutral/straight and your shoulders back and down away from your ears. Remember to keep your core tight and engaged throughout your time on the bike as well.
- Stay hydrated. Ensure you are fully hydrated before you get on the bike and always carry water with you while cycling, and make sure that you have a snack before getting on your bike to boost your energy levels.
- Keep sessions to a low-medium intensity. As mentioned before, it is suggested that you should maintain a low-medium intensity while exercising throughout your pregnancy.
- Opt for a turbo trainer. You may feel more safe and comfortable riding on a turbo trainer indoors as you move through the trimesters. Zwift offers pregnancy-safe cycle sessions, which I've tried and tested, and I think they are great!
- Strength & Conditioning. Keeping up with strength and conditioning throughout pregnancy will benefit you on the bike and help keep those aches and pains away. This will also keep you strong and ready for labour and all the motherhood movements to come.
Remember, if you feel dizzy, unwell or overheated on the bike, listen to your body and rest. Pregnancy is exhausting; creating a baby can often zap most of your energy, so lead by how you feel. Pregnancy isn't a time to push through that tiredness. It's a time to rest, be humble and surrender to how your body feels - sometimes this can be hard to do, but you'll feel better for it, and the baby will appreciate it.
The suggestions made in this post are from a personal perspective and we would recommend talking to a medical professional prior to cycling while pregnant to ensure all safety precautions are in place.