Exercising is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself and your growing baby. Still have questions or concerns about saddling up while pregnant? We sat down with Flywheel’s Northeast Creative Director, Master Instructor, and mom-to-be Danielle Devine-Baum for the low down on rocking your rides during those extra special nine months. Here, 7 things all FLY moms-to-be need to know:
As a life-long athlete, I’ve always been extremely in tune to what is going on in my body. I know when I can push harder. I live for the endorphin rush that comes with a great workout. If I can do more, I will. When my husband and I found out that we were pregnant (the best news ever!), I didn’t imagine that too much would change in terms of my ability to function as an athlete. Of course I knew I’d adjust over time, but the degree to which my priorities changed (almost overnight) came as a total surprise.
What are the biggest and most useful takeaways for any moms-to-be?
1. Your body isn’t just yours anymore. You’re sharing it with another person who needs (and deserves) a lot of your energy. Allow your expectations to shift.
2. It’s OK to slow down and adjust your routine. It may feel weird and scary at first, but your body will tell you what it needs.
3. Finding ways to substitute hard workouts with gentler ones might feel just as good. For example, instead of running treadmill intervals, change the run to a fast walk on an incline.
4. You’re probably not drinking enough water. Pregnancy requires more hydration than normal. If you’re athletic and active, you’ll need even more. On that note, keep a bathroom nearby to accommodate for the extra water intake!
5. Sleep. And sleep some more. And nap.
I love the intensity of Flywheel, but is it TOO intense for a mom-to-be?
Flywheel classes are aimed to suit all levels, pregnant or not! Your body will tell you what is too intense and it’s your job to listen to that message. If it feels too intense or uncomfortable, turn down the Torq or change positions. It is about you and your baby, not about getting your best total power number!
Is Flywheel healthy for a pregnant woman? If so, why?
Every pregnancy is different, so always consult your doctor. That said, most doctors agree that moms-to-be can continue the exercise routines they had before pregnancy. Flywheel in particular is popular amongst pregnant women because indoor cycling is non-impact (i.e. easy on the joints) and is very safe. The community atmosphere at Flywheel is also extremely inclusive. Throughout my pregnancy, my Flywheel extended family has taken care of me and supported me. It’s a really special environment.
How often should I be riding?
Pregnant women who already ride can continue to ride (with their doctor’s permission) at the frequency that feels good. This is not necessarily the time to start doing more, but there is no need to pull back until your body tells you to.
How far into my pregnancy can I ride?
We have lots of pregnant women who ride throughout their entire pregnancy. My good friend and rock star Flywheel instructor Jaimie Bailey rode the day before she went into labor! Again, it comes down to listening to your body.
Tap backs in third, jogs in second — is this all safe?
Certain elements of the Flywheel ride might start to feel somewhat uncomfortable as your pregnancy progresses and your body grows to make room for the baby. My rule? If it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it. Our instructors at Flywheel want every rider to feel safe and that means that riders should adjust to their own needs when necessary. This is not the time to “tough it out.”
How can I modify my ride to make it as safe and efficient as possible?
There are a few tricks that will help your pregnant body feel great on the bike. First, raise your handlebars as your pregnancy progresses. The higher the handlebars, the easier it is for your lower back. Also, as your belly grows, a bit of height on the handlebars will require less of a forward bend when seated. Second, use your breath. Remembering to breathe is always key, but as the baby takes up more space and your lungs have less capacity, you’ll need all the oxygen you can get.