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Even though you may not always feel like it, pregnancy fitness is a really important part of a healthy pregnancy. One of my favorite workouts pre-pregnancy were spin classes, but could I continue stationary cycling while pregnant? My doctor gave me the all clear to use my Peloton through my pregnancy to keep my workouts going and I am sharing all my best Peloton pregnancy tips!
Staying active during your pregnancy is really important. There are a lot of benefits for your health, it can prepare you well for labor and help your body recover more quickly after delivery.
I have had very different experiences with fitness during my pregnancies and can attest to how much better I felt after working out consistently while pregnant.
With my daughter, I had a few medical issues (that weren’t really clear during the pregnancy) but what we found out after we delivered was that I had a very larger (think 8 lbs) cyst that had grown during the pregnancy and was slowly cutting off blood flow to my lower body (full story here).
It was pretty painful, and I stopped being able to be on my feet without being in a lot of discomfort at about 20 weeks. My daily activity was walking to my desk at work and then walking to the couch when I got home. And I just thought this was a normal part of pregnancy so I tried not to complain about it too much. But I was certainly not in a physical state to be able to push myself to work out. It felt very sluggish for months after delivery and had to really search for the physical energy that being a newborn mom takes.
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During my pregnancy with my son, I had a completely different experience. I felt much more physically capable to work out and pushed myself to find ways to be active even as my belly grew.
Going into the third trimester, I was amazed at how strong and energetic I felt, even with a toddler running around our house. And I attribute a lot of that to the time I committed to working out in the 2nd trimester. (I will be clear that I am not at all a superwoman and the 1st-trimester exhaustion really got to me and I pretty much just slept during any free time I had during that part of my pregnancy.)
Before I got pregnant, taking spin classes and riding my Peloton were my favorite forms of working out. And I was a little sad thinking that I might have to give up spin for the better part of a year while I was pregnant. I checked with my doctor and she told me that continuing to spin was totally fine during pregnancy and gave me the go-ahead to continue my Peloton workouts. (Be sure to check with your doctor as well!)
Continuing with my Peloton workouts made my pregnancy such a great experience, that I wanted to share a few tips on how I used my bike to get in some great workouts while dealing with the constant changes pregnancy brings!
USING THE PELOTON TO HAVE A FIT PREGNANCY
DON’T WORRY IF YOUR OUTPUT CHANGES
One of the things that I love about my Peloton is the way it clearly calculates your output on each ride as well as tracks your speed and the resistance you are using. It does a great job of keeping me accountable even though I am in a room alone and nobody would know if I slowed down or turned down my resistance.
But being pregnant adds a whole different set of constraints to your body – and while some women may be able to continue working out just like they would if they weren’t pregnant, I couldn’t. Which is something I had a little bit of difficulty with during my first few rides as I noticed my output numbers dropping.
I could have let that discourage me and just decided that I wasn’t strong enough to work out and be pregnancy – or I could have acknowledged that I was also GROWING A HUMAN BEING which also takes some pretty serious physical strength.
So don’t expect to set any personal records on your Peloton while pregnant, but that’s ok! Just showing up and putting in some effort is AMAZING! Keep reminding yourself of that!
ADJUST YOUR SEAT SETTINGS
As your body changes during the pregnancy, your bit settings will need to adjust accordingly. I had been told to raise my handlebars up higher as my belly got bigger and I can attest that it made a huge difference.
Don’t worry so much about sticking to perfect form during any of your rides. Get your seat settings to a place where you feel comfortable and ride however you feel best.
TAKE LOW IMPACT CLASSES
I love taking a mix of different types of classes, but as I got farther into my pregnancy, I realized that I had a harder time keeping up with tough climbs and really high-speed intervals. The low impact classes were really helpful because they are still great workouts, but they focus a little more on resistance than high energy spurts.
There are even a few low impact classes where the instructors will call out how great these classes are for expectant mamas!
You can also just adjust your own numbers during other classes to make them a little more impact. Each ride is your own so just listen to your body no matter what ride you take!
PREPARE FOR SOME EMBARRASSING LEAKS
This is real y’all. And I have seen several women post about it in the Peloton Moms Facebook Group.
You may pee some during your rides.
Yes, I do know this from experience. As you have more pregnancies, I have come to find that your babies are more trained to find your bladder and use it as a punching bag.
I have only experienced bladder leaks during my Peloton rides, and the first time it happened I was pretty shocked. So I just want you to be prepared. Keep two towels on your bike. One for your face. And one that you can place on your seat just in case your tiny spinning buddy decides to help you alleviate a little liquid during your ride.
DON’T FOCUS ON THE LEADERBOARD
One of the motivating parts of the Peloton is being able to view the stats of other people in the class and see how you are comparing. The harder you push, the higher you climb up the leaderboard.
But on all of my pregnancy rides, I just swiped those leaderboard stats right off my screen. Because I don’t want to see how I compare to some 22-year-old gal in California who doesn’t have a toddler and isn’t carrying a squash sized human in their belly.
The only person you should focus on during your rides is you. And I guess also that tiny human in your belly.
UPDATE YOUR PROFILE
I update my profile almost weekly when I am pregnant for a couple of reasons.
The first being to change my weight so that Peloton can more accurately track my calorie burn. The heavier I am, the more calories I am burning. And I want that credit, dang it.
The other reason is to update my “location” – which you can use for more than just your City, State. I saw a lot of other moms adding #30weekspregnant and such to their profiles and some of the Instructors would call them out during the class, which I am sure feels awesome.
And you get a lot more virtual ‘high fives’ from other riders when they see you in their class while pregnant. You know I’ll take every little bit of encouragement that is offered to me!
Best Peloton Pregnancy Classes
Like I mentioned earlier, low impact rides are a great while you are pregnant, but there are plenty of other classes in the Peloton catalog that set you up for pre and postnatal fitness success.
Peloton trainer Kristin McGee created a series of prenatal and postnatal yoga classes for beginner and intermediate level yogis.
Emma Lovewell created several strength training classes that focus on core strength especially for mamas. That is a great class to take as you are recovering from childbirth.
And if you aren’t feeling an intense pregnancy work out, there are stretching and meditation classes available that are just your speed.
Peloton Friendly Maternity Activewear
If you are going to be a fit mama to be (or even just a comfy mama to be) you need to have the right clothes. My first pregnancy, I spent most of my time in my husbands t-shirts. But the second time around I invested in some good maternity activewear and I do think it made a difference in how motivated I was to work out.
I picked a few of my favorite maternity workout tops and shorts that would be great to wear while spinning or doing pre-natal yoga!
Pregnancy fitness was a game-changer for me during this most recent pregnancy and I can really see how much my time on the Peloton has paid off. If you don’t have a Peloton, you can certainly use any stationary bike to keep up your fitness regimen!
And if you are interested in getting a Peloton, you can check out my full Peloton review here.