Can You Use an Exercise Bike When Pregnant? Our Guide To A Safer Workout

Exercising during pregnancy seems like a never-ending debate. Is it safe or not? What type of exercises should you do? Can you use an exercise bike when pregnant?

Even though there are plenty of scientific results showing that exercising during pregnancy is good for both the mother and the baby, some women still remain cautious.

Numerous physicians and associations, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), advise pregnant women to exercise during their pregnancy. This especially applies to those ladies who were active before becoming pregnant.

Staying physically active during pregnancy is very likely to enhance blood circulation, ease backaches, improve digestion and sleep, boost your mood and energy, help manage weight gain, and promote muscle strength.

However, it is still recommended to exercise caution and consult your doctor before starting any workout regime. Not all types of workouts and exercises are suitable for pregnant women.

And, what about exercise bikes? Do they fall into this category?

In this article, we explain can you use an exercise bike when pregnant and everything you should look out for with this type of workout.

Can you use an exercise bike when pregnant

Can You Use an Exercise Bike When Pregnant?

Exercise bikes are one of the most commonly found pieces of exercise equipment. They can be found in gyms and homes all around the world, and are popular for their ability to provide a great workout and a safe one.

These stationary bikes mimic regular bike riding while giving you plenty of opportunities to adjust settings for your comfort. We know they’re safe for the general population, but can you use an exercise bike when pregnant?

Using an exercise bike is considered a very safe workout for pregnant women. There is minimal impact on your joints as the movements are all smooth motions. Another key factor to consider is that you always have control while using an exercise bike. You can slow down the very second you begin to experience discomfort, and the resistance is all set by you.

In addition, using an exercise bike can also be a huge benefit later down the road. This workout can help you tone your perineum and strengthen your legs, which will help a lot during childbirth!

Whether you choose spin classes like SoulCycle or Flywheel or you decide to work out in the comfort of your home, here are a few things to pay attention to.

Advantages of a Stationary Exercise Bike for Expectant Mothers

Many women, when they learn that they are pregnant, stop practicing any physical activity. However, this is not something you should do. Even if you’ve never exercised regularly before, it is recommended to start exercising during pregnancy.

If you’re still wondering can you use an exercise bike when pregnant, the answer is yes! And, here are all the benefits you will reap:

  • It will ease your labor. Working out on an exercise bike will facilitate the birth of your child by improving your endurance and breathing performance.
  • It will reduce the risk of high blood pressure. About 10% of pregnant women suffer from high blood pressure. Most commonly, it occurs in the third trimester of pregnancy and can cause complications for the mother and the baby.
  • It helps control weight gain. Working out regularly will help you maintain a healthy weight and to return to your earlier weight faster after childbirth.
  • It will reduce stress and improve well-being. When working out, our bodies produce endorphins or the so-called “hormone of pleasure.” So, working out will put you in a good mood!

Now that you know about the benefits of using an exercise bike, you have only one more choice to make – will you take up a spin class or use an exercise bike in the comfort of your home?

We provide tips for both!

Indoor Cycling Classes During Pregnancy: Should You Sign up for Them?

Just like any other exercise, it is safe to take up cycling classes during your pregnancy if your doctor approved it. According to ACOG, any form of exercise can be done until the day before labor starts.

However, working out during pregnancy will be slightly different. Since you’re going to be exercising for two, your heart rate is very likely to elevate more quickly than usual. And, you will probably overheat more easily.

So, if you’re wondering can you use an exercise bike when pregnant and take spin classes, the answer is yes. But, you should take it easier on the bike than you would if you weren’t pregnant. If you were taking spin classes before pregnancy, continue doing the same exercises and don’t change your routine.

Here are a few more tips that will ensure you stay safe when exercising.

Consult the Instructor before the Class

Before signing up for any cycling class, you should always consult the instructor first. This way, the instructor will keep a closer eye on you and won’t push you too hard. Also, it is very likely that the instructor will have some useful tips on how to modify the ride to suit your needs.

Stay Hydrated and Comfortable

Overheating and dehydration are common during pregnancy and can be dangerous for both parent and baby. Make sure to stay hydrated when you exercise during pregnancy. Always drink plenty of fluids throughout the class.

It is also recommended to wear loose clothing if possible. Consider avoiding tight-fitted shorts and skirts, as they can get in your way during the exercise sessions and contribute to overheating.

Modify Your Bike Setup

Your body will change during pregnancy and you may need to adjust the saddle position and raise the handlebars on your bike to stay comfortable. It is recommended to sit more upright (which means raising the handlebars and bringing them closer to you), instead of leaning forward, to relieve strain on your lower back.

Lower Your Intensity

When taking spin classes during pregnancy, it is best to keep your intensity lower. If you want a more challenging workout, then increase the resistance instead of speeding up. To make sure you stay at a safe intensity, consider wearing a heart rate monitor.

Avoid Standing When Exercising

Try to avoid standing up during spin classes. During the early months of pregnancy, you may not notice any problems. However, your growing belly will put more pressure on your joints, so it’s recommended to stay seated the whole time. Standing can strain your back and it is also more difficult on the joints of your pelvis which can cause discomfort.

Listen to Your Body

Pay attention to how your body feels during class and know when to stop or slow down to give yourself time to recover. If the entire class is too intense for you, feel free to leave early. During pregnancy, your energy is likely to ebb and flow, so pay attention to your body’s signals.

Choosing an Exercise Bike When Pregnant: What Features to Consider

If indoor cycling classes are not your cup of tea and you already have an exercise bike at home or you are planning to buy one, there are a few features that will make using an exercise bike even better while pregnant. So, here is what you should consider when buying or upgrading an exercise bike for use during pregnancy.

  • A comfortable seat. Being comfortable while sitting is very important, as you want to ensure that you aren’t hurting your lower body. Look for a bike with a cushioned seat. If you already have a bike with an uncomfortable seat, you can always find a cushion or a new seat pad.
  • A cushioned back. Having a comfortable and cushioned back is equally as important as the seat. This makes sure that your back is propped upright and feels good.
  • A heart-rate monitor. Many exercise bikes will already have this feature. If not, you can also find heart-rate monitors that attach to your body. Using this will help make sure that you’re staying in a healthy range for your heart-rate.

When to Stop Working Out During Pregnancy?

Sometimes, your body will send you signs that you should stop working out.

Stop exercising and consult your doctor as soon as possible if you notice any of the following:

  • stomach, severe back or pelvic joint pain, calf pain or swelling,
  • dizziness or feeling faint,
  • shortness of breath or palpitations,
  • vaginal bleeding or loss of fluid from your vagina,
  • difficulty with walking,
  • severe headache,
  • contractions

Also, keep in mind that you may not notice your baby’s movements as usual when you’re working out. Always check on your baby’s pattern of movements when you complete your workout. If they seem to slow down or you notice anything unusual, consult your doctor right away.

How to Ensure the Safest Workout Possible

Exercise, in general, is safe when pregnant. However, you can make it even safer and minimize any potential risks with a few easy steps!

Since you now know the answer to “can you use an exercise bike when pregnant?” we thought you may want some extra tips to make sure that your safety is still the #1 priority.

Stretching is key before any workout. It’s even more essential when pregnant! So, ensure that you’re giving yourself time to do a thorough stretching warm-up before doing any physical activity, like getting on an exercise bike.

You’ll also want to make sure you’re staying cool while exercising. If you aren’t in an air-conditioned space, be sure to have open windows or a fan nearby.

Tight gym clothes may look stylish, but they’re especially constricting when pregnant. Be sure to wear comfortable and loose-fitting clothes when you exercise while pregnant. A good sports bra is also key.

Shoes are another important aspect of your fashion to consider. Good shoes will help prevent injury. Sore feet can often be seen in pregnant women, so you want a comfortable pair to minimize pain.

Some people work out hard. If you’re the type of fitness enthusiast that likes to work out to the point of exhaustion where you can barely stand, you may want to change your routine. You don’t want to over-exert yourself when pregnant. If you’re too tired to talk, you’re too tired to keep working out while pregnant.

Another thing to consider is your diet. Exercising while pregnant will mean that you’re burning calories. However, it’s also important to remember that being pregnant means eating more.

It’s recommended that you consume 300 more calories per day compared to your pre-pregnancy diet. So, ensure that your exercise doesn’t burn so many calories that this surplus is not there.

Already thinking about how you’ll exercise when the baby is here? Check out our guide on how to exercise with a baby at home.

Overall, working out while pregnant won’t be too different for the first three months. Once your belly starts getting bigger, you’ll begin noticing more changes in your body. It’s important to give yourself the time to check in with yourself and make sure that you’re still feeling strong and comfortable. If you have any concerns, you should see a doctor immediately.

When you hit the sixth month of your pregnancy, you should consult with your doctor again to make sure that you’re safe to keep working out. Based on your baby’s development, your doctor may recommend a specific workout or suggest that you stop high-intensity exercising altogether.

Any type of exercise can be a scary thing to do when pregnant since you’re worried about your baby above all else. But, can you use an exercise bike when pregnant? Absolutely, yes! Just remember to keep consulting your doctor along the way to ensure maximum safety.

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