After giving birth; it’s natural to feel lost and overwhelmed. A postpartum body is a work in progress and needs time to heal. But don’t let your new physique stop you from mountain biking!
Regardless of their fitness level, men and women can benefit from mountain biking. Its low impact and relatively short-term wear and tear on the body make it a great choice for postpartum moms.
Postpartum mountain biking can be an excellent and rewarding way for new moms to get back into an active lifestyle. However, some important safety guidelines must be followed to ensure a safe and enjoyable ride.
If you are considering mountain biking after giving birth, here are six must-follow postpartum mountain biking guidelines:
1.Set Realistic Goals
When postpartum mountain biking, it is important to set realistic goals. This means being mindful of your body and what it can handle and not pushing yourself too hard. In addition, it is important to set realistic goals and not to place unrealistic expectations on yourself.
It’s important to start slowly when exercising after childbirth. Your primary goal should not be performance-based but rather to safely ease your body into a routine.
Start with short rides and gradually work on building up stamina, speed, and distance over time. It’s also important to ensure you get plenty of rest for your body and mind to ensure adequate recovery before embarking on the next ride.
Additionally, it is important to focus on building up your strength, endurance, and skill gradually rather than trying to rush back to pre-pregnancy levels. Lastly, always consult with a medical professional before getting back into any type of exercise after childbirth.
2. Make Sure Your Bike Is Appropriately Sized
The size of your bike plays a huge role in ensuring your safety and comfort on the trails. Your bike must fit both your height and weight. A good rule of thumb is to use electric mountain bikes to make climbing easier.
If you’re unsure about the size of bike you need, it’s best to consult a professional bike fitter or mechanic who can help you select the proper fitting mountain bike for you. Before each ride, make sure the brakes and shocks are working properly.
A good postpartum mountain biking kit should include a helmet, padded shorts and shirt, bike shorts with enzyme-activated chamois pads, cycling shoes and pedals, goggles or sunglasses for protection from the sun and wind, and proper hydration. Prepare your equipment in advance and keep everything ready so you can ride whenever you find the time.
3. Warm Up With 10 Minutes of Stretching and Exercises
Before heading out for your ride, it’s important to warm up your body. You can do this with 10 minutes of low-impact stretching and exercises. Focus on stretching the muscles you’ll use most strenuously when mountain biking such as the hamstrings, calves, and quadriceps. When you stretch before you ride, you increase your flexibility and boost proper blood flow, preventing injuries.
After you complete your ride, minimize stiffness by performing low-impact moves like yoga-like stretches. Also use this opportunity to track how you are feeling physically – if the pain (or fatigue) lasts longer than a couple of days, take extra rest and modify your bike routine for the next ride.
4. Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated on the bike is an important part of postpartum mountain biking. Strive to drink lots of water before and during a ride. Be sure to also carry energy bars or other snacks containing plenty of water.
If you plan to ride for a couple of hours, try to drink half a liter before your ride to stay hydrated. Caffeinated beverages should be avoided before, during, and immediately after a ride, and it is best to stick to liquids that are caffeine and alcohol-free.
Energy or “sports” drinks are good, too. Additionally, it is important to ensure you are staying hydrated in your daily life and never start a ride dehydrated.
5. Opt for Joy Rides Instead of Strength Rides
During postpartum mountain biking, it’s best to opt for joy rides instead of strength rides. You don’t need to push yourself beyond your current capabilities or physical capabilities while riding, as this could lead to injury or fatigue.
Instead, opt for moderate length and sunny terrain so you can still enjoy the ride without too much pressure on your body. Consider also making frequent stops throughout your ride to stay refreshed and re-energized without overtaxing yourself.
It’s important to start small and take your time in increasing your level of difficulty and intensity. Start with shorter rides in the beginning and slowly increase the length, whether you’re going by distance or duration.
As you gain experience and confidence, begin to challenge yourself with more technical trails or routes with bigger climbs. Be sure to listen to your body – if it’s telling you something isn’t quite right, stop and rest before continuing onward.
6. Wait at Least Six Weeks Before You Ride
After giving birth, it is recommended that you wait at least six weeks before riding again. Although you may feel ready, giving your body time to heal and adjust to the changes is important.
During this time, you should gradually focus on activities such as walking and light stretching to build up your strength and endurance. Additionally, you should consult a medical professional before getting back into any type of exercise after childbirth.
During the postpartum period, your body is still recovering from pregnancy and birth, so giving yourself time to heal is essential. Your doctor will also be able to advise when it’s safe for you to ride again and how you should start exercising.
Postpartum mountain biking can be a safe and enjoyable activity for new moms. But before you start to ride, you must follow some safety precautions as your body is healing from childbirth.
If you follow the guideline, you can still enjoy mountain biking. Also, check our other article for the best mountain bikes for women.