Mindbody

Download the app

The MINDBODY app

Fitness memberships, workout classes, wellness services, beauty appointments and more.

Install
Prenatal Fitness - MINDBODY
Fitness
Published Wednesday Sep 11, 2019 by Whitney English

The Do’s and Don’ts of Prenatal Fitness 

Yoga
Pilates
Barre
Strength Training
Cardio
Expert Advice

For many pregnant women, exercise can take a backseat. I get it. You’re exhausted and uncomfortable—slipping into a pair of tight leggings and sweating your booty off doesn’t exactly sound like a great way to reduce your discomfort.
 
While working out may sound like the last thing you want to do when you’re carrying another human inside of you, engaging in regular, low-impact activities during pregnancy is extremely beneficial to both you and your baby. In fact, some studies show that prenatal exercise may help to reduce aches and pains, improve sleep, and boost mood. But figuring out which exercises are safe for you and your baby can be confusing. If you Google prenatal exercise, you’ll find a wide range of conflicting opinions on what moms-to-be should and shouldn’t do.
 
As a dietitian, a Certified Personal Trainer, and a mom to a 16-month old, exercise has always been a priority for me. During my pregnancy, I was determined to continue my regular routine as long as possible, so I spent a ton of time researching and speaking to experts to learn the best practices for exercise during pregnancy. Here is my list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to prenatal fitness, no matter where you are when it comes to motherhood. 
 

Yoga

First up, yoga. You want to avoid any poses that cramp your baby’s space or put pressure on your stomach. It’s easy to modify most poses to make them safer and more comfortable for you and your baby. For example, instead of trying to do a regular forward fold, open up your legs for a wide leg forward fold, which gives your belly more space. 
 
Some poses can be fine during the first or second trimester, depending on your prior yoga experience, but may be less safe later in pregnancy. If you are comfortable doing full wheel, it can be fine early in your pregnancy. I did this pose until about 25 weeks, but everyone is different. Keep in mind that pregnancy is not the time to push yourself with new poses. Additionally, after the first trimester, it’s best to avoid lying face down. Instead, try doing certain poses on your knees rather than on your stomach—like substituting camel pose for bow pose.
 

1
Yoga

First up, yoga. You want to avoid any poses that cramp your baby’s space or put pressure on your stomach. It’s easy to modify most poses to make them safer and more comfortable for you and your baby. For example, instead of trying to do a regular forward fold, open up your legs for a wide leg forward fold, which gives your belly more space. 
 
Some poses can be fine during the first or second trimester, depending on your prior yoga experience, but may be less safe later in pregnancy. If you are comfortable doing full wheel, it can be fine early in your pregnancy. I did this pose until about 25 weeks, but everyone is different. Keep in mind that pregnancy is not the time to push yourself with new poses. Additionally, after the first trimester, it’s best to avoid lying face down. Instead, try doing certain poses on your knees rather than on your stomach—like substituting camel pose for bow pose.
 

Pilates + Barre

Similarly, with both Pilates and barre, you want to avoid doing any stretches or poses that put pressure on or around your abdominal cavity. During the early stages of pregnancy, you may not need any modifications, but the most important thing is to listen to your body and not push the limits. As your pregnancy progresses, remember to ask the instructor for modifications, so the exercise feels good for both you and baby.

2
Pilates + Barre

Similarly, with both Pilates and barre, you want to avoid doing any stretches or poses that put pressure on or around your abdominal cavity. During the early stages of pregnancy, you may not need any modifications, but the most important thing is to listen to your body and not push the limits. As your pregnancy progresses, remember to ask the instructor for modifications, so the exercise feels good for both you and baby.

Hot Exercise + Heated Classes

Another crucial thing to avoid during pregnancy is hot exercise. There is a lot of misinformation regarding hot exercise, but be wary of anyone that tells you that it is safe. Increasing your core body temperature is known as hyperthermia, and it can be extremely dangerous for pregnant women. It is especially dangerous in the first month just after conception, but hot exercise and heated classes should be avoided at all stages of pregnancy.

3
Hot Exercise + Heated Classes

Another crucial thing to avoid during pregnancy is hot exercise. There is a lot of misinformation regarding hot exercise, but be wary of anyone that tells you that it is safe. Increasing your core body temperature is known as hyperthermia, and it can be extremely dangerous for pregnant women. It is especially dangerous in the first month just after conception, but hot exercise and heated classes should be avoided at all stages of pregnancy.

Strength Training

When it comes to strength and circuit training, exercises like lunges and jumping may put excessive pressure on your belly as you get farther along in your pregnancy. Trust your body and discontinue these if they feel unsafe. Any exercises that cause you to hold your breath or could result in trauma to your belly, (for example kettlebell swings or powerlifting) I would advise against.

4
Strength Training

When it comes to strength and circuit training, exercises like lunges and jumping may put excessive pressure on your belly as you get farther along in your pregnancy. Trust your body and discontinue these if they feel unsafe. Any exercises that cause you to hold your breath or could result in trauma to your belly, (for example kettlebell swings or powerlifting) I would advise against.

Cardio

With cardio, the rule is that you should be able to continue to hold a steady conversation during exercise. For some, running may be fine up until the end of your pregnancy. Others may find this puts too much pressure on their pelvic floor. Some low-impact alternatives include walking (on both a flat surface and uphill), swimming, elliptical machine, rowing machine, and low-intensity aerobic exercise.
 

If you’re looking for exercise classes to take while pregnant, I recommend searching for something mellow on the MINDBODY app, such as restorative or gentle flow yoga, beginner Reformer Pilates, or any other light, introductory classes.
 
As a general rule, if you’re questioning whether or not something is safe to do during pregnancy, it probably isn’t. Remember that the most important thing is the safety of both you and your baby, and no form or intensity of exercise is worth sacrificing that!
 
For more information on a healthy pregnancy, including nutritious recipes and exercise ideas, check out my Predominantly Plant-Based Pregnancy Guide!

5
Cardio

With cardio, the rule is that you should be able to continue to hold a steady conversation during exercise. For some, running may be fine up until the end of your pregnancy. Others may find this puts too much pressure on their pelvic floor. Some low-impact alternatives include walking (on both a flat surface and uphill), swimming, elliptical machine, rowing machine, and low-intensity aerobic exercise.
 

If you’re looking for exercise classes to take while pregnant, I recommend searching for something mellow on the MINDBODY app, such as restorative or gentle flow yoga, beginner Reformer Pilates, or any other light, introductory classes.
 
As a general rule, if you’re questioning whether or not something is safe to do during pregnancy, it probably isn’t. Remember that the most important thing is the safety of both you and your baby, and no form or intensity of exercise is worth sacrificing that!
 
For more information on a healthy pregnancy, including nutritious recipes and exercise ideas, check out my Predominantly Plant-Based Pregnancy Guide!

Whitney English - MINDBODY
Written by
Whitney English
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
About the author
A former journalist and entertainment reporter in Los Angeles, Whitney English found her passion in wellness and nutrition. Tired of the quick fix promises she encountered in Hollywood, she became a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Personal Trainer, making it her mission to research health trends to help determine the best ways to eat, move, and live for long-lasting health.
dairy-free cheese healthy recipes
Wellness
Published Wednesday Jan 22, 2020 by Mckenzie Hathaway

Not Too Cheesy: Vegan "Cheese" Recipes That Taste Like The Real Thing

Recipes
Food
Nutrition

We all love cheese. And if you don’t love cheese, well, you just haven’t found the right kind for you. If you’re unlucky like me, however, cheese does not like you. Thankfully, we live in 2020, where plant-based cheese recipes are alive and well.

I have been dairy-free for a few years, and cheese is truly the food group I miss the most. As much as we try, we sometimes just can’t get vegan cheese to taste like the real thing. So, I recruited my dairy-loving, cow-consuming friends to be my taste-testers. Their brutal honesty helped me create some “fake” cheese that can actually compete with the real stuff.

Goat "Cheese" Ball

Did you know you can make mouth-watering “fake” cheese with macadamia nuts? Yes, macadamia nuts. If you’re craving that creamy consistency but your stomach isn’t down for dairy, try out this recipe inspired by Simple Vegan Blog

1
Goat "Cheese" Ball

Did you know you can make mouth-watering “fake” cheese with macadamia nuts? Yes, macadamia nuts. If you’re craving that creamy consistency but your stomach isn’t down for dairy, try out this recipe inspired by Simple Vegan Blog

Nacho "Cheese" Sauce

I know what you’re thinking: is this real? Is it too good to be true? No nuts, no fat, and it tastes good? You’re in for a treat. No one can tell the difference between this recipe and their favorite gooey cheese sauce. This recipe makes a lot of sauce, so be ready to share and shock your dairy-loving friends.

2
Nacho "Cheese" Sauce

I know what you’re thinking: is this real? Is it too good to be true? No nuts, no fat, and it tastes good? You’re in for a treat. No one can tell the difference between this recipe and their favorite gooey cheese sauce. This recipe makes a lot of sauce, so be ready to share and shock your dairy-loving friends.

Sweet Potato Mac N' "Cheese"

Feeling some cheesy FOMO? Get your macaroni and cheese fix with this deliciously dairy-free recipe inspired by Forks Over Knives. Enjoy all the creamy goodness with ingredients like cashews, turmeric, sweet potatoes, and gluten-free pasta. Yum! 

3
Sweet Potato Mac N' "Cheese"

Feeling some cheesy FOMO? Get your macaroni and cheese fix with this deliciously dairy-free recipe inspired by Forks Over Knives. Enjoy all the creamy goodness with ingredients like cashews, turmeric, sweet potatoes, and gluten-free pasta. Yum! 

"Cheese" Potato Fries 

The perfect side dish to go with your Impossible burger, these “cheese” potato fries will definitely take you to flavor-town. Whip up the sauce with cannellini beans, yeast, apple cider vinegar, and just add some seasonings to the potatoes for a healthy alternative to a classic meal. 

4
"Cheese" Potato Fries 

The perfect side dish to go with your Impossible burger, these “cheese” potato fries will definitely take you to flavor-town. Whip up the sauce with cannellini beans, yeast, apple cider vinegar, and just add some seasonings to the potatoes for a healthy alternative to a classic meal. 

Mckenzie Hathaway MINDBODY
Written by
Mckenzie Hathaway
Media & PR Specialist
About the author
From working at a fashion magazine to taking on the tech industry, Mckenzie is passionate about all things Public Relations. Outside of the office, you will find her trail running, swimming in the ocean, or creating plant-based recipes as she heals her body from autoimmune diseases.