Sunday, October 09, 2005

Exercising for two: Cycling

I've been reading up lately on the rights and wrongs of exercising while pregnant.

With regards to biking, my doctor says:

  • Falling off is a bad (goodbye cyclocross season and going BMXing with Dave - thankfully they'll both be around next year)
  • Getting out of breath/overheated is also bad
  • If you feel off balance, bullet point #1 will be an issue
  • Otherwise, go for it!

Most doctors -- including mine -- say that when it comes to healthy pregnancies, heart rate limits are very old school, especially since different pregnant women have different pre-established fitness levels.

Instead, the best way to see if you're going too far is to keep the "talk test" in mind. If you can take a ride and maintain a conversation without huffing and puffing, you're okay. Of course, there's no one to talk with during my commute, so I keep this in mind. As things progress, I'll probably start talking to myself while riding -- ooh flattering!

I have stopped racing but have read of some women who have raced while pregnant. I'm guessing most doctors would advise against this for the malpractice worries alone! And, what's the point of getting pregnant if you're going to jeopardize your health and your future child's health?

I'm still bike commuting with no problem and won't stop until there's a reason to: I start showing, things start getting uncomfortable physically or mentally, or I start feeling off balance - whichever comes first. My family is interested in my stopping NOW but hasn't been forceful about it - just little comments here and there. I do have an almost 1-mile UPHILL on my commute home. It's not a slope or a slight grade, it's a HILL, but so far I'm not out of breath at all, so I don't think I'm pushing it.

Take it easy...
My daily bike commute covers some fairly busy roads so it usually makes more sense to be worried about the other drivers. What's been surprising is that I'm having to remind *myself* to stay extra cautious. I'd say that off-bike, I'm more aggressive as a pregnant lady than I am usually - though I'm no wuss usually.

For now, I have to curb my appetite for:
  • Going around stopped cars
  • Riding through yellow traffic lights
  • Pushing myself to go faster when I get bored
  • Racing other bike riders I spot on the road. No full-out blowing past their sorry asses (for another 9 months or so)!

    This was especially annoying last week. I was leaving work and a lady in full team kit was riding on the road beside me, obviously headed for some evening group ride. I could totally take her - even in my current state - but I had to hold back. I could smell her vibe: "Come on - you have a pretty nice bike. Let's race!" I played the "I don't see you game" instead...

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