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Prenatal cardio: Cycling. Fitness with an added bonus of scenery

By Published On: April 19th, 2012

Cycling is an excellent prenatal cardio to get involved in. It gets your heart rate up, tones your lower body, burns calories, and is a great mood booster. Not only that, but some women continue cycling safely all the way to the end of their pregnancies!

You can cycle indoors or outdoors, making it an any-weather, no-excuse cardio workout. Because staring at the wall on a stationary bike in your basement probably doesn’t sound like your idea of fun, many gyms offer the wildly popular spin classes. Here, an instructor leads a group of fellow avid cyclists through various speed and resistance levels, until your thighs are aching and sweat is pouring off of you. It’s a phenomenal workout! Plus, you get inspired being surround by others as passionate about getting and staying fit as you are.

Of course, you can always get a ‘real’ bicycle and head outdoors. While indoor spin classes attempt to replicate the feeling of going up and down hills through resistance gears, you can actually experience them as you make your own routes throughout your city. Being outside in the fresh air and watching the changing scenery fly by is also a great inspiration to lift your spirits, giving you a chance to breath in deeply and let go of your day.

Cycling is low-impact, making it an excellent cardio choice if you have joint problems or if you are heavier (or have a baby belly!). It is also for great cross-training. If you run regularly but want to give your body a break but still keep up cardio, then cycling is a good alternative.

You can intensify or relax your cycling cardio workout to suit your fitness level. Increase the speed and resistance as you feel comfortable and according to how much you motivated. Of course, the faster you go and the higher the resistance, the faster your butt, hips, thighs, and calves start shaping up. You want to make sure that what level you choose to ride at, you are getting your heart rate up in order to make it an effective cardio workout.

Have your seat adjusted to the proper height at a local bike shop. This will help insure that you do not have any strain on your knees and that you will have a comfortable ride.

Stay safe and be aware of the cars around you. Ride on the right side of the road and be polite and don’t up the entire lane. Follow the traffic laws. Wear a helmet at all times. Some cyclists choose to get decked out in neon, body-hugging spandex. That’s up to you. Getting padded bike shorts definitely helps make the ride more comfortable. You can always wear them under a pair of workout shorts if spandex isn’t your thing.

A casual bike ride (between 12-14 mph) burns nearly 300 calories in just 30 minutes! That’s an impressive calorie burn, guaranteeing that it is a great cardio workout.

Numerous women are testimonies of how cycling helped them remain feeling upbeat and in shape throughout their pregnancies. Their babies are healthy. And the rigors of their labors were better sustainable due to the fact that they had kept up cycling. The main concern is making sure you can keep your balance on your bicycle as your stomach gets bigger. You may want to lower your seat or adjust your bicycle’s handlebars to fit more comfortably on your bike. And, of course, keep an eye out for traffic.

[Disclaimer: Read this introduction before you begin any exercise program.]

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