Pregnancy And Bike-Right Or Wrong?

Texto de Cláudia Franco para a Revista Bicicleta:

You love cycling, however, the news of the pregnancy came with millions of questions and certainly one of them is: will I be able to continue with my bike?

The dilemma: I’m going to be nine months without making a pedal, without doing a workout or ride? Seems so unfair to have to give up something that should be so healthy!

The good news is that you do not have to abandon your favorite sport and, Furthermore, can benefit immensely if you keep cycling during pregnancy. Not all pregnant women can ride until the end of the pregnancy, but most likely will be able to ride for a long time.

As is the case with most exercises during pregnancy, cycling should be done in moderation. If the general health is good and he’s not suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes or other complications considered high-risk, so there won’t be many restrictions to stay away from your bike.

Speaking of bike, you’ve heard this one (link) ?

Cycling while pregnant is a wonderful way to keep fit and stay within the proper weight. Talk to your doctor to make sure that there are no problems to consider and pay attention to your body signals related to possible exaggerations. Obviously, there are several issues that must be taken into consideration.

First, keep in mind that your body is completely changed. It is more than necessary to be cautious and it is essential to have the doctor’s release to the practice.

During pregnancy, it is necessary to have an additional 300 calories on average, every day. With the practice of cycling, even at a short distance, you will need at least 500 calories.

Cycling is a low-impact aerobic exercise, but will need to redouble precautions, because from the fourth month of pregnancy, your center of gravity will begin to change, causing balance problems. Therefore, from the beginning, avoid routes with curves and when riding in a group avoid getting too close to other cyclists. Careful not to fall! But if this happens, consult your doctor immediately.

If you have never ridden a bike, it is not recommended to start fair during pregnancy, because cycling requires a lot of balance, missing factor in pregnant women mainly in the gestation period.

To continue pedaling during pregnancy, be careful and smart. Give preference to tiled floors, with little irregularity. Prefer the land climbs or steep descents without plans. To your practice must prevail the constant spinning, aerobic work, not strength or dexterity.

Stay hydrated always, even in fun, because your body demands more water during the gestation period. Hydration is important to maintain the level of oxytocin balanced, because if you get high, it can cause contractions.

Another recommendation is the use of the heart rate monitor during the pedal. If your pulse rate exceeds 140 beats per minute, stop riding immediately. Also stop the pedal starts to feel a lot of shortness of breath, because it is a sign of fatigue. Not work short of respiratory capacity.

The handlebars and saddle height should be repositioned to avoid pressure or greater weight on the pelvis and also on the back. Look for comfortable clothes and suitable for your new silhouette. Watch the feet, which are usually swollen: use shoes or running shoes more comfortable.

An interesting option is to use a recumbent that greatly reduces the pressure on the pelvis. But if you do not feel safe to go out pedaling, there is also the option of cycling in the fixed roller or training indoor cycling practice.

Indoor cycling training for pregnant women

The indoor cycling is an intense cardiovascular workout. With some adaptations for pregnant women, this practice will help you a lot during the gestation period.


In indoor cycling, your heart and breathing rates increase, oxygenating your body whole. The American Council on Exercise and the ACOG-American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise daily. For those who never practiced exercises, recommend start with 5 or 10 minutes and go increasing gradually.

Weight gain during pregnancy your heart demand a greater work. The indoor cycling is beneficial because it is an exercise in non-impact, alleviating the feeling of heaviness during the training. Work out at a moderate intensity. The right measure is to ride and talk at the same time without getting out of breath or tired.


During pregnancy, the body temperature is slightly elevated. The exercise, the temperature will increase. Indoor cycling rooms air conditioned not can generate discomfort, so choose a bike as close as possible to the fan. Furthermore, hydrate, drink water during the entire period of exercise. The water helps cool your body and keep your muscles hydrated. If you start getting super warm, slow down the pace.


In addition to improving your cardiovascular system, the indoor cycling can help reduce the risk of gestational diabetes and hypertension. According to the “sports medicine”, practicing cycling an average of 5 hours a week at a moderate pace, you can reduce the risk of complications during the pregnancy period.

See the Doctor

The first course of action is to have medical clearance to practice and, if possible, that your doctor set a training program tailored to your need and conditioning.

Interview with Jaqueline Mourao

You rode while pregnant? Until that month?

Jaqueline: I cycled up to the last day of my pregnancy! This photo was taken on my last week of gestation. Adapt the bike to the end, raising the handlebars to get more comfortable with the belly and get more tire pressure.

Photo of Jaqueline Mourao

Had medical follow-up?

Jaqueline: I was accompanied in both Brazil (beginning of my pregnancy, until the third month) and in Canada (the other six months).

What kind of pedal practiced?

Jaqueline: Cut the intensity, we cycled in intensity Z1 and Z2 below the anaerobic threshold.

What were the benefits?

Jaqueline: I felt great with the possibility to be able to continue to play sports. It was very good, both for me and the baby. There are several research studies that prove the benefits of a physically active pregnancy. The day I don’t know, I felt bloated, no disposition and with less energy, felt nauseous as well during the first few months, when not cycled.

What recommendations do you give for the cyclists who get pregnant?

Jaqueline: If it’s okay with your pregnancy and the doctor release, pay attention to your diet and a lot of hydration during the pedal. Choose land on which to feel at ease (if you don’t feel safe on trails, please more estradões). And above all, watch for signs that your body might be giving and get all your questions with your doctor.

I gave are fortunate to have a doctor in Canada who worked with many athletes and so had experience and took all my doubts. I felt that every time I started pedaling, in the first 10 minutes, I felt very out of breath, even with the glad heart rate low. Then I stabilized and was breathing normally. My doctor said it is normal, is an adaptation of the body in order to provide the maximum amount of oxygen to the fetus, which by the way is well protected inside. It was interesting that even he was controlling the intensity of the workout. Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t get past my 2 intensity zone.

Jaqueline Mourao, the super athlete.

To put to the test all these theories that we research, we interviewed the athlete from Scott, Jaqueline Mourao. Jaqueline is a high-performance athlete and told us that your gestation period was a lot easier than I thought. “Of course for an athlete, think of pregnancy is something that worries, because our body is our working tool and I had several questions, like if I could get pregnant even with a body fat percentage so low, if could continue to practise sport, if I could go back to the same level of performance after pregnancy, among others,” says Jacqueline.

She claims that sports and pregnancy are fully compatible and that, with a correct medical follow-up, no impairment of health of the baby or the mother.

From 9 months of age, the baby can follow the mom cyclist in its activities, using car seats suitable for this purpose.

Riding with your baby

The car seats are sold at department stores, major magazines and in specialist shops in bike. We find that anywhere the parents are oriented with respect to good drivers of bicycle so they can drive their bikes equipped with car seats and their children. It is imperative to know the importance of having good dexterity, balance and control of the bike, a fall can cause serious physical and emotional trauma to the child and to the drivers.

The manuals of the car seats bring the safety instructions, but if you don’t have good dexterity and control of the bike, you’d better practice before and make sure it is suitable for the “adventure”.

The car seats do not have certified by Inmetro, because the Agency does not yet have a standard pré-estipulada for this type of product. For this, look for products that follow the recommendations of production in accordance with ISO 9001 standards, including weight and also test products that follow international standards laid down in standard EN 14344-.

Minimum and maximum age for the child to be transported on bicycle seat, there is a rule relating to the child’s weight and approximate age. From nine months to a year, when the child is already firmly to sit alone, stipulated as being the minimum age. As for the maximum age, the weight supported varies between brands available. Is car seats for children from 15 kg to 25 kg, which corresponds to a child of about five years.

The car seats can be attached on the front of the bike, for the transportation of smaller children, hiding in plain sight of the driver, while the back is suitable for older children, necessitating a luggage rack for your installation.

Note that the child seat is not suitable for all bicycles. Therefore, when buying a car seat, take your bike along for review if the fit is correct. Don’t make adjustments, remember that your child’s safety is top priority.

As well as the bike, the child seat must be in perfect condition to be used. It is essential to pay attention to the following instructions for use and maintenance:

  • Save it in a location sheltered from sunlight to avoid burns by exposure to the temperature.
  • Clean with mild soap and water and do not use chemicals. Avoid shock to increase the durability of the product.
  • When transporting the bicycle on the stand, remove the car seat. Vibrations can cause damage, assign or release the bike links, what can trigger an accident or loss of parts.
  • When not in use, it is recommended the removal of car seats.
  • At the slightest sign of fatigue of any part of the car seats, we recommend the suspension of the use and the query to an expert or the manufacturer.
  • The installation of car seats reduces the maneuverability of the bike. We recommend that drivers make sure their bikes work correctly with the car seats fitted and if there is any difficulty of locomotion with the use of them.

Benefits of use of car seats

The seat is a way of approaching the child at a very early stage.

It is a way to generate a cyclist of course, which in the future may have the bicycle as the main instrument of conveyance or be a driver more aware regarding the social importance of the bicycle.

More than a product or accessory, the bather is an effective instrument in perfect harmony between parents, children and the bike.

The car seats popularized more after several celebrities have been photographed by paparazzi. In some ways, this gives a nod of approval. Another strong point in the popularization of use of the product is the choice of some local governments and institutions for the use of car seats as a way to prevent accidents.

In Church-RS, for example, a Union of workers provided car seats to their members as a way of preventing the transport accidents, after they found that many of the workers were using bicycles to transport their children to nurseries and schools before working hours and sometimes accidents occurred, the lack of car seats. In addition, it was a way of encouraging the use of bicycles.

In Ribeirão Preto-SP, car seats are available to cyclists who use the bikelane town on Sundays.