Words by Hayley
We always get questions from you guys about whether it’s ok to power through Ro’ride while you’re pregnant. And when you ask us, we answer. When we started researching in order to give you the very best information, an idea struck us: why don’t we go straight to the source?!
Who better to give curious and health-conscious pregnant women advice than other curious and health conscious pregnant women? So we sat down with two of our favourite Ro’riders who also just so happen to be pregnant. Marly and Nadine give us the lowdown on having your healthiest pregnancy ever.
Hi guys! We’re so grateful to be able to pick your brains a bit. Could you tell us a bit about yourselves?
Marly: I’m 30 years old, live in Amsterdam with my boyfriend Pim and am expecting our first child in August.
Nadine: Well, I am a 31-year-old Dutch girl. I have lived most of my life abroad but moved to Amsterdam about 10 years ago, and it truly has become my home! I live here with my husband and my cat and, as of August, an addition to our family!
So great to meet you both! How did you guys come to join the Rocycle family?
Nadine: I have never really found a sport that spoke to me much, so it was very difficult to find something that I would stick to, until I found Rocycle. I joined about 1 ½ years ago and have been hooked ever since. I normally try to come about 3 times a week. I love the fact that it’s upbeat, all for one and one for all yet still very much your own thing. I love the music; it feels like you are going dancing whilst getting exercise and no one cares that you are sweaty and red. Plus the city location is next to my office, so it’s the ideal place to go after work!
Marly: We lived just around the corner when they started Rocycle City, and I was already curious about what it would be. I only started it last year when my friends were really excited about it, and I was addicted after the first time. Because we all love it so much, we Rocycle a couple times a week and we’re doing all the challenges (7 rides in 7 days for example).
Well we are thrilled to have you both as part of the Ro’fam! Many of our riders ask about riding while you’re pregnant. What are your thoughts on this?
Marly: If you’re a Rorider already, you can continue during pregnancy. Now I’m 5 months (23 weeks, in Holland we count weeks instead of months), and I’m still riding 3 or 4 times a week.
Nadine: First of all, I am not a doctor, nor a physio so I really have no clue other than what I feel. I would love it if you guys had some more knowledge about it because for me it is also one big new discovery, and I would love some counselling ;). I asked my obstetrician what I could do, and they told me to be careful about the abdominal muscles, avoid getting short of breath and go easy on the weights. The first three months of my pregnancy I felt very nauseous so it was a bit trickier sometimes. It is important to be careful with the type of exercise you choose to do in class, as not everything is as good for your back or tummy muscles since you can’t support it any more. I have been getting some hard bellies, so I have had to cut down. I hope to get back to once a week on a regular basis, but my normal 3 times a week is out of the question. I think every pregnancy is different, and the most important thing is to listen to your body. I met a pregnant woman at Rocycle once who never stopped riding and was on fire at 32 weeks!
Oh man that is so impressive! But yes, we totally agree. Every pregnant woman should speak to her doctor to clear it first, and then from there, it’s a totally personal thing. What feels good for Marly may not for Nadine, and that’s totally okay. Now on the subject, do you have any tips for women who want to ride whilst pregnant?
Nadine: I would say don’t start while pregnant, but if you have been riding for a while and you are fit, it shouldn’t be a bad thing. Just be careful with your back (because you can’t support it with your abdominal muscles), and don’t do the front abdominal exercises. Supposedly you are not allowed to put your arms above your head and should not get (too) short of breath. Mostly, don’t be ashamed if you are skipping some of the exercises. Replace them by something you feel more comfortable with, and don’t mind the people around you. It’s your ride, your journey.
Marly: If you’re in a good condition, it’s no problem to ride. It’s really important to listen to your body and not push too hard. If an exercise is too heavy, just sit down for a while or change the exercise a bit (the instructor can also help you with it). You’ll notice as well that the tap-backs are not that easy anymore when your belly starts to grow.
That is a wonderful way to look at it. It is your ride and your journey, so feel free to make any modifications that make it the best ride for YOU. We obviously love having all the glowing pregnant women in our studio, but do you know of any other pregnancy-friendly forms of exercise?
Marly: I think you can do whatever you feel like; just be careful with running and jumping and ab exercises. And if you’re not sure what to do, you could try Mom in Balance. I never did it myself, but I’ve heard from friends it’s nice to do during and also after pregnancy.
Nadine: Ha! Again, not a physician of any kind, but I hear swimming is very good for you, even if you are not the sporty kind. Otherwise there are many Mom in Balance classes you can join.
Do you have any great resources for pregnant women who want to stay healthy?
Nadine: First of all, don’t be too hard on yourself. It is already such a huge change, so don’t try to change yourself at the same time. Accept yourself and your changing body (as hard as that may be) and try to stay healthy by eating healthy. You don’t actually need to eat any more (only 300 calories from the second trimester), so be careful with the cravings. You (I!!) will have to work them off afterwards. Walking is also exercise. And, most importantly, get enough sleep and again, listen to your body.
Marly: Just sleep enough, eat healthy and exercise!
Sounds like advice we all could take, pregnant or not. How do you define wellness?
Marly: Find balance in your life; work hard, play harder! Take good care of yourself so you enjoy life to the fullest.
Nadine: Wellness for me is about feeling good about myself. Whether it is through sports, clean eating, fresh air or good hair ;).
One last piece of advice?
Nadine: The only piece of advice really (and I need to keep telling myself too) is be nice to yourself. This whole pregnancy experience is such a magical yet exhausting thing. Listen to your body and your belly. If it feels like you can and you want to push yourself a bit more, then maybe you can. If it feels like you are at the end of your rope, just be kind to yourself and take a break.
Marly: Rocycle ☺.