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Cycling

Aerobic Exercise

Cycling is easier on the joints and muscles than jogging. There is something about riding outside on a beautiful day and feeling that wind against your face; you'll forget you're exercising!

Cycling Tips
  • Learn to become a part of the natural traffic flow. Practice basic bike handling such as changing gears, stopping quickly, and turning rapidly. Parking lots or lightly traveled areas are a good place to practice these skills.
  • ALWAYS wear a helmet for safety.
  • Follow the rules of the road by stopping at all stop signs and stop lights. Stay aware of all cars in your vicinity and assume that they do not see you.
  • Learn how to fix a flat before going out on your first ride to prevent you from becoming stranded. It is also a good idea to take a cell phone if you have one in case of an emergency. This will fit in a bike bag that goes below the seat. Also, always take an energy bar, fruit, or other portable food in case you run out of energy. Practice changing the gears and do not use too high a gear since this can strain your knees.
  • Decrease the risk of injury by making sure that your sit is adjusted properly and by cycling at an easy cadence (number of revolutions per minute that you pedal). Novice cyclists often cycle at a cadence, which uses more tension than they should forcing them to have a slow cadence. This can fatigue the legs more easily.
  • Practice braking to get familiar with front and rear brakes. DO NOT squeeze your front brake hard if you are moving fast or down a hill. You will end up flying over the handlebars and doing a face plant! We do not recommend this.
    ·Make sure to keep your arms loose and upper body relaxed while cycling to prevent lower back pain.
  • Pedal smoothly in circles instead of pushing down hard on your pedals. Think that you have glass in the bottom of your shoe and you need to pedal without breaking the glass.
Bike Gear
The Bike
  • Go shopping with a friend that is knowledgeable about bikes. Also, bike prices are negotiable and don't forget to ask the salesperson to throw in a few freebies like a bike light, bike computer, bike bag, or bike lock.
  • Frame size: While standing directly over bike, your crotch should be about 2 to 3 inches above the top tube.
  • Seat height: Your knee should be slightly bent when your leg is extended at the bottom of the pedaling stroke.
  • Handlebars: The width should be the same as your shoulder width. The height of the handlebars should be 1 to 1 ½ inches below the top of the seat.

Should I Buy a Mountain Bike or Road Bike?
This depends on where you are planning to ride. Mountain bikes are the hottest sellers these days accounting for 80% of new bike purchases. They are the most versatile since you can go on trails, through puddles, and easily handle the bumps in the pavement. However, if you plan to cycle on the road for long distances your best bet is to go with a road bike.

Other Stuff you'll Need

  • Get a helmet! Ask a salesperson for help to assure a proper fit and you should be able to get a good helmet for about $30.
  • Never go cycling without a full water bottle. Stay well hydrated for optimal energy.
  • Buy a pair of cycling gloves to make your ride more comfortable. Get a pair of padded cycling shorts; you can guess what they make more comfortable.
  • Emergency kit: include food (e.g. energy bar, banana, dried fruit, etc.) flat tire repair kit, $10, air pump, and a cell phone.

12 Week Beginner Cycling Program
Week Distance
(Miles)
Time Goal
(Min)
Frequency
(per week)
1 3 18 3
2 4 20 3
3 4 18 3
4 4 16 4
5 5 23 4
6 5 22 4
7 6 27 4
8 6 25 4
9 7 30 4
10 7 29 4
11 8 33 4
12 8 31 4

12 Week Intermediate Cycling Program
Week Distance
(Miles)
Time Goal
(Minutes)
Frequency
(per week)
1 8 32 4
2 8 31 4
3 8 30 4
4 9 39 4
5 9 37 5
6 9 36 5
7 10 43 4
8 10 41 5
9 10 40 5
10 11 44 4
11 12 50 4
12 12 48 5


Walking Jogging Swimming
Cycling Cross Training in the Gym

Return to Introduction to Aerobic Program
Return to Introduction to Exercise

Not all exercises or diets are suitable for everyone. Before you begin this program, you should have permission from your doctor to participate in vigorous exercise and change of diet. If you feel discomfort or pain when you exercise, do not continue. The instructions and advice presented are in no way intended as a substitute for medical counseling. The creators, producers, participants and distributors of this site disclaim any liability or loss in connection with the exercise and advice provided here.

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