Spinning While Pregnant: Q&A

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How far along are you?
Georgia Burke: 18 weeks
Jessica Smith: 25 weeks pregnant (just over 6 months) 

What challenges, if any, have you encountered so far?
GB: None! I have more energy than ever up on that bike! I consider myself very lucky to be capable of a fit pregnancy.
JS: My centre of gravity has shifted while getting up and out of the saddle and keeping my heart rate nice and steady.

How often are you spinning?
GB: 3-4 times per week.
JS: 4 times a week.

What advice would you give to pregnant Bikergang members?
GB: Drink tons of water! And embrace that new beautiful body:)
JS: My advice for the bikergang would be to keep coming to spin even if your not out of the saddle as much and never feel like that's a bad thing. Showing up is better than not!!:)

What are you looking forward to most about transitioning from a Motivator to a Bikergang member?
GB: I can’t wait to try so many different styles of classes weekly once I transition from being a motivator. And obviously it will be exciting to ride alongside my new friends who I have seen hustling it out in my classes:)
JS: I am looking forward to still being able to spin at a lower intensity and show that pregnant people can spin and also feel like a part of the group.

YYC Nutrition: Success a Scale Can't Measure

I am constantly coaching and teaching clients how to improve beliefs, patterns related to their eating behaviours and appearance. All of this to help achieve long-term weight goals and a healthier lifestyle. Changes to these beliefs (in some cases) aren’t easy. Especially when we are flooded with TV commercials, warped Instagram photos, supplement guarantees and promises of “quick weight loss”. It adds to the expectation of fast results. “Lose 10 lbs. in 10 days!” or my favourite, “ Six pack abs with this 4 week workout program”. These statements are a slap in the face to someone who has been working for months to manage their weight through diet and a reasonable amount of exercise. They start to think “what’s wrong with me?”.

This creates anxiety and self-doubt in their ability to lose weight. It adds pressure, leaves little room for flexibility and even the slightest deviation from “the diet”, can derail the rest of their day. They soon forget about all the progress they have already achieved. Results that have nothing to do with a number on the scale.

I often remind clients that if they don’t see the number on the scale they want to see that week, to remember that there are still major benefits taking place.

True benefits that the scale can’t measure:

1. “I can sustain this lifestyle without feeling deprived or it affecting my social, work or family life”.

It’s important the approach you take with your weight loss is sustainable. If you’re someone who has been on different diets, re-gained the weight or fallen’ off the “wagon” a few times, a program that is realistic will keep you motivated, satisfied and sane.

2. “I was able to keep my cool when they served the desserts and other trigger foods”.

When trying to lose weight, strict restriction usually fails in the long run. Not only do you

feel miserable afterwards but, the guilt can stick with you until the next day. Enjoying your favorite treats now and then without guilt is important. A few times a week will not derail your progress. Say it with me, MODERATION.

3. “My eating habits are positively influencing my family & friends”.

Now that’s a great feeling. Inspiring others around you to make better choices can add to your motivation and persistence.

4. “I managed my eating around the holidays, which never happened in the past”.

The holidays, work conferences, vacations, etc. will happen. They often involve rich food and

being surrounded by addictive sugary-fatty combo treats. Ordering extra veggies, sticking to one alcoholic drink and packing whole food snacks is a total WIN! Always seize opportunities to do the best you can. Be proud of yourself. In the long run, beating yourself up will only lead to guilt and possibly episodes of overeating. Unless you live in a box, you will never be able literally maintain the exact same eating schedule day in and day out, all the time.

5. “I feel in control but not obsessed”.

Control, wow that’s a loaded word. Often, the behaviors and “rules” some hold related to eating is deeply rooted in a desire for control. Control gives us a sense of comfort, and that is something that as humans we will always naturally seek. Being in control of what goes into your body is the best way to succeed in long-term weight management. So if you feel in control, know you are in a good place and it’s only a matter of time before you reach your weight loss goals.

The benefits above are not what you read about on Instagram, in magazines or on the back of supplements. But, they are happening even in the presence of stalled weight loss or when a person reaches their healthiest or “maintenance” weight. If you do not acknowledge the process and overall benefits of how you get to your weight loss goal, how will you sustain it?


Now, for an awesome recipe!



Serves 2


Dry ingredients

1/2 cup rolled oats, buckwheat or steel cut oats
2 tablespoon hemp seeds
½ tbs cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
couple dashes of nutmeg
pinch of salt

Wet ingredients
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup of almond milk, or coconut milk
1 Apple, diced
1 tbs Honey


1. Add all dry ingredients and divide into 2 jars or containers with airtight lids. Put the lids on and shake to combine.

2. Add the wet ingredients, reapply the lid and shake to combine again. Refrigerate overnight, or at least an hour. You can eat it cold, or heat it in the microwave (I do 1 minute and 30 seconds, stir, then heat for 1 more minute). Top with chopped nuts (slivered almonds, chopped walnuts), cacao nibs, shredded coconut, or whatever topping you’re into.

Serve hot and enjoy!


Amy Karl RN, BN, RHN
The Pristine Body

YYC Health: Spinning & Pregnancy


Pregnancy is such a beautiful and amazing time in a women’s life. It is no myth that with all of these wonderful feelings also comes a tremendous amount of change, stress and uncertainty; especially for first time mothers. One major discussion I always have with pregnant patients is physical activity during pregnancy. How much? What do I do? Will my baby be affected? Is it safe? Etc. These are all important questions that every pregnant woman should be asking herself and her healthcare professionals.

As always, I have a disclaimer to this blog post. If you are thinking about getting pregnant or are currently pregnant (CONGRATS!), it is imperative that you consult your family doctor/healthcare provider before participating in physical activity. The majority of the time, it is completely safe to participate in activities you did prior to pregnancy (with some modifications), but in some cases it is not. Your healthcare provider will determine this, if they don’t, ask them!

Early 19th Century misogynists created a completely erroneous and outrageous concept that women should never participate in any physical activity - pregnant or not - to preserve femininity. WHAAAAT?! It lasted the majority of the 20th century and was later deemed “The Frailty Myth” . The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists finally debunked this myth and set out the first guidelines for physical activity and pregnancy in 1985.

These guidelines have changed slightly over the last 30 years, with more research available, however the underlying tone remains unanimous. Exercise! And most definitely exercise when you are pregnant. Even if you were not physically active prior to pregnancy, it is never too later to start, just consult a healthcare professional prior.

What are the benefits for my baby and me?

The endless benefits of exercise remain the same during pregnancy (increased cardiovascular health, increased strength, decrease chance of disease, etc.) with a few additional benefits:
-Maintenance of strength and coordination with natural pregnancy weight gain
-Possibly reducing the risk of gestational diabetes and pregnancy related hypertension (high blood pressure)
-Decreasing or easing of low back pain and other associated pregnancy pains
-Preparing the body for labor/delivery
-Enhancing post natal recovery and decreasing symptoms of postpartum depression
-Your baby will sprint out of you doing pushups and bicep curls...JOKING…Just wanted to make sure you are paying attention

What types of exercise(s) are best to avoid?

-Avoid contact or extreme sports – basically anything that will put you at greater risk of falling or trauma – even if you are super sick at mountain biking for example and never fall, the hormone relaxin increases significantly during pregnancy, causing more joint laxity and flexibility, thus increasing the risk of joint sprains and other injuries
-Avoid activities will a lot of jumping/jarring
-Avoid lying on your back, especially after the first trimester (approx. 13 weeks) as the baby and uterus can put pressure on the vena cava, an extremely important vein for circulation to the brain and uterus
-Avoid exercise at very high altitudes – aka no hiking on Everest
-Avoid straining or holding your breath, which increases intra-abdominal pressure – for example; don’t perform your one rep max deadlift when 36 weeks pregnant
-Avoid scuba diving
-Avoid exercising in very hot/humid environments, and I am talking HOT, especially in the first trimester – increasing core temperature above 102 Fahrenheit for longer than approximately 10 minutes could affect healthy growth and development of your baby. Your core temperature will naturally be increased in pregnancy but be sure to stay hydrated and pay attention to any signs/symptoms of overheating:
     -Dizziness or lightheadedness
     -Shortness of breath

What are some safe options for exercise during pregnancy?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends 30 minutes or more of exercise most, if not all, days of the week! Remember that your centre of gravity is shifting (forward) as the baby grows which will alter your balance, coordination and overall biomechanics. If anything hurts with exercise (knees, back, tummy, etc.), don’t do that particular activity and choose another one.

-Running – if you were a runner prior to pregnancy - pregnancy is unfortunately not the best time to decide to become a marathon runner
-Resistance training/weightlifting – this is so important but remember to avoid very heavy weights
-Core strengthening including the trunk and pelvic floor musculature – any prenatal workout classes or midwife sessions will often focus on these exercises. Work those kegels girl!
-Prenatal yoga or any other prenatal workout classes
-Low impact aerobics – such as stationary biking (SPIN anyone?! Just make sure that motivator turns those fans on for you!)

Parting Words:

In addition to the above tips for exercising while pregnant, always remember to stay hydrated, increase your calorie intake, listen to your body and consult your healthcare professional prior to exercise.

To all those beautiful, glowing and pregnant women out there -- baby, let's exercise!

In health,


Dr. Amy MacKinnon, DC, BSc. HKin (Hons)

Chiropractor, ProActive Health Group




American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (2010). Your Pregnancy and Childbirth Month to Month. 5th ed. Washington, D.C. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; 2010(1).

Dowling, C. (2001). The Frailty Myth. Random House Trade Paperbacks.

Kalisiak B, et al. (2009). What effect does an exercise program for healthy pregnant women have on the mother, fetus, and child? PM&R;1, 261.

Olson D, et al. (2009). Exercise in pregnancy. Current Sorts Medicine Reports; 8:147.

We Are the Bikergang: Gabby


When did you first discover YYC CYCLE, and what were your thoughts?

I first discovered YYC Cycle almost a year ago when Sylvia invited me (multiple times) to join her for a ride. I wasn’t sure about it, because I had never liked training before, but Sylvia kept saying so many good things about YYC CYCLE! My first class was… a challenge (just imagine an extremely out-of-shape, asthmatic on a bike). When I attended my second class, it was a little better but still couldn’t do 1/5 of what the motivator asked us to do. But most importantly, I started enjoying it. So I decided to stick to it and get in shape and I never looked back. I love the warm welcome I get every time I walk through the studio’s doors. We are doing the class together as a group, but nobody comes and checks how much resistance I have on that dial. I feel the group support without having to worry about the comparison. Just me against myself, pushing my limits.

The YYC CYCLE Bikergang is all about supporting each other and our goals. What are some of your big goals?

My biggest goal at the moment is to continue my weight loss journey. After that, we will see. :) One step at a time!

What would you tell people who are wanting to get into spin, but may be afraid to attend a class?

My biggest fear when I started spinning was to be judged by other people in the class. But I quickly realized that everybody is so focused on getting their own workout, they don’t have time to judge what other people are doing. When I see new faces, and people struggling like I did a couple months ago, I’m just so happy that they are trying something new. If you do your best every class and push your limits, it is amazing how fast you will notice the differences. I quickly noticed the drastic improvement in my cardio. I also noticed changes to my body. But what I didn’t expect were the changes in my mind. I am just so much happier. My thoughts are clearer, I’m more efficient at work, I’m way more focused and I don’t have sugar cravings all the time like I did before. So just try it. Just take time for yourself. And remember: your best doesn’t have to always be THE best :)

What is your favourite guilty pleasure?
I really try to not reward myself with food, but I have to say I have a soft side for my friend’s vegan coconut oil chocolate recipe. :)

Last but not least, who is the most inspiring woman in your life?
This is by far the hardest question. A lot of women inspire me on daily basis, and I strive to become a better person by learning from them. My mom is the woman I love the most. I couldn’t be more grateful for all the sacrifices she has made, the tears she wiped, the laughs we shared, the hours she listened and the unconditional love she gave.
My stepmom is one of the most kind-hearted, selfless people I know. She visited several dying family members daily - some for months - to help them, clean their home, and bring them love and comfort without expecting anything in return.
All my friends that are example of hard work and dedication, because of all the weight they lost or the simple fact that they find time for themselves between work, husbands and kids. :)