Cycling During Pregnancy – Benefits, Risks, and Precautions

5 min read

Written by Sindhuja Prabhu

Sindhuja Prabhu

cycling during pregnancy

Stay fit and active during pregnancy they say. It is important to maintain an active lifestyle throughout your pregnancy, to ensure your pregnancy-related health complications are as minimal as possible. While everyone is aware of walking and yoga during pregnancy, is cycling during pregnancy safe and recommended?

Cycling can be a great physical activity that not only helps you stay fit physically but refreshes you mentally as well. Getting some fresh air, going for an early morning ride, and catching the sunrise can be a great way to start your day. Pregnancy brings restrictions and limitations. Read on to know more about cycling during pregnancy.

In This Article

Is Cycling Safe During Pregnancy?

Yes, cycling during pregnancy is safe as long as you are cautious. Cycling is just another exercise that can benefit you in multiple ways during pregnancy. Be it indoors or outdoors, you need to be careful and alert for any warning signs. Indoor cycling is definitely safer than outdoor cycling, during pregnancy.

It is recommended to check with your doctor first before you start cycling while pregnant. They can advise you on when to start, how far you can go, and what symptoms to watch out for. If you follow your doctor’s advice, be careful, and cycle mindfully, it can indeed be a great exercise for the whole body, during pregnancy.

Benefits of Cycling During Pregnancy

woman holding bicycle during pregnancy

When you cycle cautiously during pregnancy, you can enjoy the following benefits:

  • You can keep your gestational diabetes and blood pressure under control
  • Your limbs get regular exercise, making them strong and supple throughout pregnancy
  • Improves blood circulation, and appetite
  • Helps to flush out toxins
  • Keeps you active during pregnancy, which is good for both you and your baby.

Risks of Cycling During Pregnancy

While cycling has its own set of benefits, cycling during pregnancy carries the following risks

1. Bumpy Ride

If you are cycling outdoors, the roads can be slippery, bumpy, or uneven. The jerks and bumps when cycling during pregnancy can be very uncomfortable. Especially if you are going to keep bumping against the saddle.

2. Taking a Fall

Your increasing pregnancy weight affects your center of balance. Many women find it difficult to even walk fast on slippery surfaces as their balance is not too great during pregnancy. Cycling requires a lot of balance and losing it even for a fraction of a second when you are pregnant, can result in a fall. Falling when cycling during pregnancy can result in a miscarriage, rupture, or other serious injuries to your limbs and body as you weigh more now.

[Read : Falling During Pregnancy]

3. Damages to Back and Pelvic Floor Muscles

If your cycling posture adds pressure to your pelvic floor muscles, it can cause damage over time. This may or may not affect your current pregnancy. It can also cause backaches and perennial pain.

Indoor Cycling Vs. Outdoor Cycling During Pregnancy

pregnant woman cycling

You can go cycling indoors or outdoors. Today, you have multiple indoor cycling options. Indoor cycling is safer for pregnant women for obvious reasons such as

  • There is no traffic
  • The cycle is fixed and stable
  • You don’t have to worry about balance
  • You can do it alone and not search for a partner
  • You can take a break without having to pull over or getting down
  • You can cycle anytime
  • There are no bumpy roads or uneven surfaces to trip you
  • You can monitor your heart rate and other important parameters

Precautions to Be Taken While Cycling During Pregnancy

pregnant woman doing indoor cycling

If you are keen on cycling during pregnancy and your doctor has not advised against the same, there is no reason to stop cycling now. You can continue cycling during pregnancy by taking the following precautions

Precautions to Take When You Are Cycling Outdoor

Here are a few precautions to take when you are cycling outdoors.

1. Avoid Traffic 

It can be unsafe to cycle in traffic, especially when you are pregnant. Other vehicles, can get close to you suddenly, jolting you or forcing you to move suddenly, which can make you lose your balance when you are pregnant. Avoid such risks when you go cycling during pregnancy.

2. Avoid Heat 

Cycling can increase your body heat and blood pressure. Try to cycle before sunrise or after sunset, to avoid the heat. An increase in body heat when exercising can make you feel light-headed, which can lead to a fall.

3. Drink Water 

It is important to stay hydrated while exercising during pregnancy. When you exercise during pregnancy, it is all the more reason to hydrate well, especially while cycling.

[Read : How Much Water Should I Drink During Pregnancy?]

4. Partner Up 

You may love your solo rides. However, when you are pregnant and cycling, it is safer to go along with a partner. In case you don’t feel well or need some help, you will have someone right next to you, aware of your pregnancy, and can act quickly.

5. Choose Right 

Riding the right bicycle is very important. The bicycle height and the seat shape should be comfortable for you to sit on and pedal. You should not lean too forward or put in too much effort to peddle. The wrong cycle or wrong posture can put too much pressure on your pelvic floor muscles, which is not safe during pregnancy.

Precautions to Take When You Are Cycling Indoor

If you are for a Peloton or a similar cycling class, you need to take the following precautions

  • Inform your instructor about your pregnancy and doctor advise
  • Keep a watch on your heart rate and modify the intensity as required
  • Stay hydrated and don’t let your body heat up
  • Avoid standing and stay in the saddle and ride
  • Modify the bike’s set-up as your pregnancy progresses

Whether you opt for indoor or outdoor cycling or choose to do both, you need to listen to your body. Pregnancy is not the time to push too hard or set new cycling goals. Your body is constantly changing and is supporting a new life. Your body is already straining, and adding more strain in the name of exercises or new goals is not safe during pregnancy.

Cycling during pregnancy can be a good exercise to keep your weight, blood pressure, and sugar levels under control If you find the right group, it can be a great stressbuster too. As long as you are careful and get your doctor’s approval, cycling can be a great way to stay fit during pregnancy.


1. Can Cycling Damage Your Pelvic Floor During Pregnancy?

If you put too much pressure on the saddle, it can damage your pelvic floor muscles over time. If you pay attention to the warning signs and adjust your saddle and cycling intensity, you can avoid such damage.

2. Is Cycling Good For Labor?

It can improve your stamina and keep your pelvic floor muscles strong and supple, which is very important for smooth labor. Regular cycling can also give you the mental strength to push through labor

3. When Should I Stop Cycling While Pregnant?

You should stop cycling when you feel any discomfort or pressure on your perineum or pelvic floor muscles. If you notice any leaks, you should stop cycling and consult your doctor. When pregnant, you should stop any exercises that add pressure to your bump or make you light-headed or nauseous.

Read Also: Benefits Of Running During Pregnancy

Sindhuja Prabhu,M.Sc (Psychology),PGDBM

Sindhuja, a mother of two, is an obsessive mom with a keen interest in psychology, especially child psychology. Her quest for knowledge and way with words led her to become a passionate content writer. She transformed her love for writing into a full-fledged career which incidentally also turned up being the perfect stress buster for the last 5 years.Read more.

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