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foto friday: cycling at 36 weeks pregnant

July 1, 2011

I love summer and I love my bike

36 weeks. Wow, when did that happen? I’m actually closer to 37 weeks now as I type this, meaning that there are only about 3 weeks left until we get to meet this little one. So exciting!

In terms of cycling and staying fit this past week, it’s been a good week of balance. I rode my bike on a number of occasions, mostly taking short (no more than 5 miles round trip) rides to nearby destinations. Today, however, I already rode just over 5 miles this morning and I’d like to take one more bike ride before this evening, which would put me at around a 10 mile total for the day. This would be by far the most bike-intensive day I’ve had this week.

(If you’re wondering how I know exactly how much I’m cycling, it’s because I’ve reattached my bike computer to my bike as I’ve been increasingly curious to see how much I’m riding these days).

But like I said, it’s been a week of balance more than of long rides. I attended my prenatal water aerobics class twice and I went to prenatal yoga once. I walked my dog a couple of times and I started – and this is big for me – doing some of my yoga stretches at home in the evening. All in all, a good mix of a variety of activities that have left me feeling surprisingly good and mobile.

My vintage Raleigh Sports

I mentioned this before, but it bears being said again: One of the things that I’ve come to really appreciate from this pregnancy, and that I will take with me long after my body has (hopefully) resumed to its normal state, is the habit of mixing things up. Before being pregnant, I was a runner. And I ran a ton of miles and never felt like doing anything but running. Then I discovered cycling, but I did that mostly for transportation and running remained my main mode of exercise and meditation.

Running, as you can guess, was the first thing to go once I got pregnant. I managed to shuffle on until about mid second trimester and then I stopped. That feels like ages ago to me now. I would have gone crazy had that been the end of my exercise and fitness routine. Being forced to look for gentler and more pregnancy appropriate ways to stay healthy has turned out to be the best thing that’s happened to me during these past months (well, other than this baby, of course). I thought I was being healthy and fit by being such a dedicated runner, but I’ve felt so much better (physically and psychologically) since varying my routine and including activities that make me move (cycling, swimming) with others that make me focus on stretching, lenghtening my muscles, and turning inward (yoga).

The meditative aspect of yoga has also made me feel increasingly ready for the birth. And my midwife notes that the physical aspects of cycling, walking, and swimming will have me well prepared for laboring. My husband and I met with her on Tuesday this week and we specifically discussed that I’m still riding my bike, to which I got an unreserved ‘thumbs up’ to proceed.

Just another bike ride Just another bike ride home

According to my midwife, since I’ve been riding my bike on a regular basis all throughout my pregnancy, there is no reason to stop now. My body is used to this type of activity and it doesn’t come as a shock to the system. So if you’re pregnant, make sure to consult with your medical care provider to see what it appropriate for you to be doing. But ask about your options and look for community classes (prenatal yoga, prenatal anything…) and take full advantage of your options in staying healthy and fit during this time.

If you feel good and are not dealing with complications that cause you to be on bed rest or to take it easy physically, I highly recommend searching for your (prenatal) options in your community and maintaining a regular exercise routine that can help you transition through the months.

And besides helping me stay active, the prenatal community groups I’ve found have led me to meet a bunch of really wonderful soon-t0-be moms and some really great new friends. So what came of me being forced to abandon something I loved and having to find something other than running? A newfound appreciation of the many ways to engage my body and mind along with a new group of friends with similar interests and in a similar place in life. All in all, not a bad trade.

Bike ride at 36 weeks pregnant

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Alisha permalink
    July 1, 2011 15:15

    I should really take a cue from you, S, because I’m in the exact same place with running that you were prior to your pregnancy. It’s my main form of exercise, and the only exercise I really ever do, actually. It can be hard to try new things when you’ve got such a tried and true default. Cycling unfortunately doesn’t seem too feasible for me, because although there are plenty of businesses in biking distance, there are no bike lanes to get there, and I feel really uncomfortable having to ride on the road, especially since it’s a pretty curvy road (don’t want a car coming too fast around the curve to not see me!). Swimming seems like something I can incorporate in this stage of my life, and I think I’m gonna try it. I’m a first year professional student (vet medicine) and since moving to a new state to attend school, I’ve had to change so much of my routine. It’s a good time to develop new good habits. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. July 1, 2011 15:32

    I have a reoccurring injury that keeps me from running as much or as far as I would like. So I joined a spin class, and my husband fixed up an old bike for me. I’ve discovered that I love biking! I’m way more active now than when I was just running. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

  3. July 1, 2011 16:36

    lady, have i told you how amazing i think you are? well you are! you look sooo fantastic!! and 3 more weeks! eek how exciting!!


  4. HokieKate permalink
    July 1, 2011 22:04

    I’m so jealous of all your community options. I have been trying to mix things up, but mostly on my own.

  5. July 2, 2011 10:33

    I just had a thought in regard to all the “Distraction” non-sense with bicycles and cops in New York city- You would probably get a ticket for biking while preggers!

    • July 2, 2011 11:15

      Haha, no doubt. I do get funny looks sometimes but also a lot of smiles and nods. So all in all, not too bad in terms of people’s reactions.

  6. July 21, 2012 01:35

    How inspiring to read your post, I am the other side of the world and as I read it, at exactly the same stage as you in both pregnancy and cycling-ness (although looking at the date a few weeks behind you as it is now 21st july). Good for you with the variety of fitness and keeping so healthy. I am not nearly as fit now but more due to the fact that I only finished work yesterday and am also balancing life with a toddler – so much less time for me now! Last time I found yoga absolutely invaluable for the birth and my level of fitness would have made a huge difference also, both with the birth and afterwards.
    All the best with it all and I hope that you will also enjoy cycling with your little one on board also, as I have done. I am just starting to find that rather too much hard work now!
    I hope that you have a wonderful birth:-)

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