Can you train while pregnant?

Pregnancy – what a complex, yet beautiful adventure many women get to experience.  For some, it could be a memory you’d rather suppress with battles of sickness and complications…and for others it can take less of a physical toll on the body.

As I write this, I am 27 weeks along in my first pregnancy.  I wouldn’t call myself an expert at pregnancy by any means, but like many active women out there, I too was searching for the right exercise recipe that would keep me active but not overdo it.

Upon searching for questions about staying active or riding a bike – the many answers out there have been very vague, including from healthcare professionals.  When I found out I was pregnant and at the time, riding about 16 hours a week, I asked the doctor, “Is it ok if I ride my bike, and how much?”

Melissa Ross pregnant 2

A pregnant Melissa Ross gets tested for aerodynamics in the FASTER wind tunnel while Scotch the dog looks on.

The answer was just, “No problem, just keep your HR under 150 BPM, and don’t fall.”  Not sure how they came up with the HR data and did they know what type of rider they were talking to.

I have read many articles from various sources that all conclude close to the same thing – keep the HR down under 140-150BPM, listen to your body, don’t exceed the activity level you were doing before you were pregnant, and exercise 20-30 minutes per day.  Contrary to what some people may believe, exercise is actually very healthy and important during pregnancy, especially when you are already an active person.

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Melissa Ross is the co-founder of Potential Energy Training and Nutrition. She has raced across Europe and the U.S. as a professional athlete (with the U.S. development team and riding for Team Kenda) to exploring the trails across Arizona and South Africa. Ross finished first in her age category for the Leadville Trail 100 in 2014 and competed in and finished the world’s most grueling mountain bike stage race, the Absa Cape Epic in the only U.S. women’s duo team.