What You Need To Know About Working Out While Pregnant

When I got pregnant eight months ago, I thought I knew everything there was to know about prenatal workouts. After all, I’ve been working at Women’s Health for years, and know the general rule—that you can typically keep doing the type of exercise you did pre-pregnancy but shouldn’t, oh, start training for your first marathon or pick up a CrossFit habit.

But the more I exercised while pregnant, the more it felt like everyone was saying “you’re doing it wrong.”

“If there’s a possibility of pregnancy, don’t do upward dog” said one prenatal yoga teacher. Apparently that could increase my risk of diastasis recti, an unpleasant condition in which your abs muscles separate—who knew?

Later, I was told the planks, side planks, and pushup exercises I’d been doing at home could also cause diastasis. So I asked my doctor if this was legit.

“You can still do pushups?” she asked, surprised. “Yeah, you probably want to stop.”

The truth, as I’ve become increasingly aware, is that there’s not a one-size-fits-all answer to the question “What types of exercise can you do while pregnant?” But! There is some key info that can help you answer that question for ~you~.

First things first: No, it’s not dangerous to exercise while pregnant. There are actually tons of health benefits.

Doctors told women that it was unsafe to exercise while pregnant until…wait for it…1985. I learned this fun fact from Raul Artal, M.D., a professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and women’s health at Saint Louis University. Artal is also the gyno who reviews and updates the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) guidelines for exercising while you’re expecting.

“There was that belief that any physical activity could be harmful to the fetus,” he says.

Luckily, now we know that staying active while pregnant (as long as your doctor doesn’t tell you otherwise) comes with a ton of benefits for both you and baby. Artal says it can:

Avoiding those scary conditions is definitely good for baby, and Artal says exercising while you’re expecting is also linked to delivering a baby at a healthy weight and reducing the odds of a C-section.

Plus, staying active can just make you feel better. “Many women find that, unless they’re profoundly exhausted, working out can really energize you,” says Mahri Relin, a pre- and post-natal exercise specialist and owner of Body Conceptions by Mahri.

That said, there are certain exercises you should avoid while you’re pregnant.

1. You’ll want to skip hardcore impact sports. James Pivarnik, a professor of kinesiology and epidemiology at Michigan State University who’s been studying prenatal exercise for more than 30 years, says the (perhaps obvious) goal here is to steer clear of anything that could cause a blow to your baby bump. (That’s why the ACOG recommends against sports like downhill skiing, legit boxing, and even volleyball.)

2. Don’t do exercises on your back for extended periods of time. These can be risky starting in your second trimester, because the uterus presses on a vein that pumps blood to your heart, says Artal, and you don’t want to cut off your circulation and decrease your blood pressure. (The key words here are “for extended periods of time”—you don’t have to freak if you accidentally wake up on your back or do a deadbug and then realize you probably shouldn’t have.)

3. Lifting heavy can be problematic for the same reason. If too much blood is diverted to your muscles, says Artal, the baby may not get enough. He recommends doing more repetitions with lighter weights (staying under 10 pounds is a good rule of thumb—and he said lifting toddlers who are too young to walk is also generally okay).

4. Hot yoga is a no-go. Basically anything that gets your body temperature too high or could dehydrate you is going to compromise functions like your circulatory system—and you don’t want to risk that when you’re staying safe for two, says Pivarnik.

5. Take it easy with the abs work. This is because of the aforementioned diastasis recti concerns. “That’s when the muscles separate a little bit—not a lot—and what can lead to that is if women are still doing a lot of crunches and moves like that,” says Pivarnik. While you can look into surgery or physical therapy after your pregnancy to treat diastasis, both Artal and Pivarnik say prevention is your best bet.

“Diastasis is actually very common for all women by the third trimester,” says Rehlin, who recommends ditching exercises like situps or lifting from the upper body starting in the second trimester. “When you do those types of moves later in the pregnancy, that, in addition to the way the growing baby puts pressure on you, encourages the split of the muscle.”

6. Remember: If it hurts, don’t push it. This is a time when your body is going through lots of changes—hormones are making your ligaments loose, and your balance is changing, among other issues—which is why you will likely need to ease up on your normal routine, even if you’re super-fit. “If it’s not comfortable, don’t do that move,” says Pivarnik. “Even if it’s something you could do before, maybe you can’t do it now. That’s fine.”

Artal seconds that: “If it hurts, stop,” he says. “Pushing on can just cause more damage.”

Other types of exercise are safe for most pregnant women.

Even women who didn’t exercise regularly before pregnancy can safely start if they stay in close contact with their doctors, says Artal.

“I actually think it’s a good time to start because you see a physician about once a month,” he says. “There’s almost no other time when you get as much medical supervision.”

Types of exercise that get the green light from ACOG include:

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Indoor cycling
  • Yoga and Pilates with modifications

To make sure instructors will be able to give you safe modifications, call your studio or gym in advance to ask about their certifications, suggests Rehlin. And of course, “make sure that that studio and the instructor are very well aware of the pregnancy when you get there, so they can make sure to modify.”

You can also look for an instructor specifically certified by Get Fit for Birth, recommends Joanie Johnson, founder of Fit Pregnancy Club in New York City.

There are tons of pregnancy-safe workout moves you can do at home.

While abs workouts may be off-limits, moves that strengthen your arms and back are great prep work for being a mom. “They are definitely going to get a workout once that baby arrives,” says Johnson.

She also recommends focusing on glute work. “Your glutes help support and bring stability into your pelvis, which is going through a lot of changes and shifts right now.”

Also, a quick note about kegels: While you may not think of them as workout fodder (I know I certainly didn’t before I became pregnant), all of the experts I spoke with emphasized how key they are for “training” to deliver your baby—so it’s a good idea to add them to your routine.

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Khloé Kardashian's Hair Just Got a Wintery Makeover

Like little sister Kylie Jenner before her, Khloé Kardashian has turned to the life-changing magic of a good platinum dye job to prep for the oncoming holiday season and close out 2018 on a brighter, lighter note. On Monday, Kardashian shared videos on her Instagram Story in which she simultaneously showed off her newly blonder hair color and bounced daughter True Thompson on her hip, in an impressive feat of motherly multitasking. Though Kardashian didn't go into detail about her hair change, she did quip, while sporting an Instagram filter that sent diamonds shooting out of her face in every direction, that the animation captured "how I feel with this new hair."

Tracey Cunningham, hairstylist to the stars, was significantly more effusive. She reposted two of Kardashian's selfie videos on her own Instagram page, writing in one caption, "@khloekardashian I love you #platinumblonde I love doing your hair color." Cunningham went on to explain the extensive process of layering various highlights on different sections of Kardashian's hair, from roots to ends, in order to achieve the chic icy shade, adding, "You were so patient."

The color change, it seems, was enough of a makeover for Kardashian for now. Perhaps not wanting to spend even more time in Cunningham's chair, Kardashian seems to have opted to retain her pre-platinum mid-length style rather than hopping on the current celeb-favorite lob train.

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Kardashian's lighter look comes only a few weeks after Jenner transformed her own locks into a similarly light blond shade. Though Jenner's 'do is somewhat more silvery than Kardashian's pale yellow color, both kept a bit of their darker natural shades at the roots. But don't expect the sisters to be twinning forever: Only a few hours before bleaching her hair in mid-November, Jenner shared a few throwback photos of her as a brunette and hinted, "Almost ready for my dark hair."

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And the platinum blonde trend stretches far beyond the Kardashian-Jenner family. Just last week, Hilary Duff documented her own hours-long process of going blonder. "The winter white out is complete," she captioned a shot of the final product, which was masterminded by Riawna Capri and Nikki Lee, cofounders of L.A.'s Nine Zero One salon. Still other newly "icy"-tressed stars include Rose Byrne, Sophie Turner, and Pete Davidson.

Related: A Brief History of All the Times the Kardashians Have Gone Blonde

Kim Kardashian steps out in a blonde lob alongside husband and rapper Kayne West during Paris Fashion Week in 2015.

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If You’re Going to Splurge on Eyeshadow, Make It This One

The main reason you never really see me wearing eyeshadow? I cannot stand the creasing. IMO, it’s worse than mascara smudges, so I frequently pass. Then, a bottle of Christian Louboutin’s extravagant, insanely expensive, stiletto-shaped metallic eyeshadow landed on my desk, and because it’s the closest thing I’ll get to a Louboutin shoe for a very long time, I had to try it out.  

I’m glad I did paint it all over my eyelids, too, because it’s one of the only eyeshadows I’ve ever worn that stays exactly where I put it all day. I’m not going to pretend that $50 isn’t pricey for one eyeshadow, but if you can spare the cash, it’s worth every single penny.

RELATED: 10 Lipsticks to Wear to Every Holiday Party This Year

It doesn’t travel to obscure places on my face. It doesn’t clump up in the creases of my eyelids. The glitter is noticeable yet subtle at the same time. Because this collection focuses on neutrals, you don’t look like you’re a walking disco ball, making it an appropriate choice for family holiday pics and nine-to-five life. I use the brush to apply a bit of the color to my eyelids, and then use my fingers to blend. You can layer it for a more opaque look, or use a little for a sheer wash of metallic color. 

RELATED: Before You Get Your Eyebrows Threaded, Read This

Every color in the collection is named after a semi-precious jewel. My favorite is Morganite, a pretty rose gold, but I’m dying to try Carnelian, a wine shade, next. If there was any cosmetics product to add to your wish list this holiday season, this is it. 

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Join Us For The Ultimate Pre-Holiday Clean Crawl In NYC!

Hey, New York! If the changing temperatures and pre-holiday hustle have you feeling worn down (honestly, same), Bustle and bareMinerals — the creators of clean — are hosting an event that will rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit. A Cleaner Day will be held on Saturday, December 15 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. A ticket gets you access to all the locations and activations on this wellness tour, plus a gift bag packed with goodies.

The day will kick off at the New Museum with a group meditation, where you can quiet your mind, experience the works of a kickass female artist, and prep your skin for the day’s activities. Oh, and to make your morning even sweeter, there’s a parfait bar.

Next, you’ll head to the Public Hotel to care for your body with some yoga and Juice Press juices. There will also be a place to create DIY makeup bags with The Neon Tea Party and even a makeup station if you want to apply some foundation at this point in the day. And if you’re worried about counteracting all this good by coating your skin with makeup, don’t worry. bareMinerals is clean without compromise: non-toxic, cruelty-free, and makeup so pure, you can sleep in it. Think of their products as yoga for your skin.

Finally, get your spirit into high gear at the Hotel on Rivington with a reception featuring an additional makeup station, a braid bar with RPZL, nail art and massages from Chillhouse, CBD lattes, a mimosa bar, and, of course, a photo booth. (You have to document your new blissed-out state, right?)

The cherry on top of the day? You’ll be helping others in addition to yourself. In conjunction with the event, Bustle Digital Group will be donating $5,000 to the Movemeant Foundation, which encourages women and girls to get active and empowers them to build confidence, feel powerful, and succeed.

Tickets are on sale now at $35 each, so get them before they’re gone — we can’t wait to see you there!

This article is in partnership with bareMinerals.

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The Only Holiday Nail Polish You’ll Want to Wear This Year

I’m all for an Elf on a Shelf, but I don’t exactly want the sly guy on my nails. Basically, if I’m going to get all festive and indulge in a holiday-centric nail art situation, it should feel, in a word, grown. That’s where Jinsoon’s new Encore holiday nail polish collection comes in. 

The collection consists of three polishes that can be worn on their own, or, if you’re feeling artistic, used together. The lineup includes Ardor (the perfect holiday red), Prim (a neutral opaque whitish beige), and Gala (a rose gold glitter). Besides the fact that every color is sorta festive, you can still use each polish all year long without it screaming Christmas in July. 

To accompany the launch, Jin Soon Choi, a legendary manicurist and the founder of the brand, created two different nail art looks that can be created with the polish — one that’s relatively simple and another that requires a bit more skill. Keep scrolling for each how-to. 

Classic Moon (Pictured Above)

1. Shape nail and remove any residue from the nail bed.

2. Apply JINsoon Power Coat (base coat) to all nails.

3. Apply 2 coats of JINsoon Prim to all nails.

4. Using a striping brush, paint a U-shape at the cuticle in JINsoon Ardor.

5. Fill in the rest of the nail with Ardor using the polish brush.

6. To finish the look apply JINsoon Top Gloss (top coat).


RELATED: The Best Nail Polish Colors for Winter 2019


Glitter Gradation


Courtesy of JINSOON


1. Shape each nail and remove any residue from the nail bed.

2. Apply JINsoon Power Coat (base coat) to all nails.

3. Apply 2 coats of JINsoon Prim to all nails.

4. Using the brush in JINsoon Gala, pick up a small amount of the polish. Start applying it at the cuticle by dabbing the brush on the nail, bring the glitter about 3/4 way down the nail. This layer should be thin, as you will gradually add more glitter to create the gradation. 

5. Apply a second coat coat of Gala, starting at the cuticle and bringing the glitter about 1/2 way down the nail. Use a dabbing motion to apply Gala. Do not “brush-on” glitter. Dabbing the brush will allow you to build up the glitter on the nail.

6. Apply a third coat of Gala, starting at the cuticle and bringing the glitter about 1/4 way down the nail.

7. Apply JINsoon Top Gloss. 


Not into nail art in general? Two coats of red will never get old. 

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John Cena’s Hair Makeover: Reveals Why He Grew Out Hair For 1st Time Ever After Fans Freak Over ‘Do

After years of sporting a buzz cut, John Cena is rocking a much longer hairdo these days, and he finally explained why he decided to grow out his locks during an interview with Ellen on Dec. 3. Watch here!

John Cena fans absolutely could not believe their eyes when he showed up to a WWE event in October with…hair. For his entire career, John has had a buzz cut, so it caused quite an uproar to see this extremely different look. “Why not embrace the uncomfortable for once?” John explained, of his reason to grow out his hair, on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Dec. 3. “It’s totally uncomfortable. I just want to go get my eight dollar haircut and now I’m throwing product in my head. I don’t know what I’m doing!”

He went on to explain that the “dedicated and devoted” WWE fans really blew things out of proportion when they saw the ‘do. “I went to film a movie in China and the movie was six months long, and I left with a buzz cut and came back with this,” he revealed. “And everyone was like…YOU RUINED MY CHILDHOOD! So I’m just trying to figure my life out and my haircut and it’s like…YOU RUINED MY LIFE. So it’s kind of weird. It was a great exercise in embracing the uncomfortable because apparently I’ve altered the space/time continuum and it’s cool to be able to just try something new.”

When John debuted the look, many joked that he was going through a “midlife crisis” after splitting from Nikki Bella. The breakup is something that John doesn’t openly say much about these days, but since they were together for more than five years when they ended things, it’s clearly had a profound effect on him, whether it inspired the ‘do or not.

Meanwhile, Nikki has been documenting the aftermath of the split on Total Divas and Total Bellas, which returns with a new season at the beginning of 2019. In the trailer, we see Nikki go out on a date with Bachelorette star, Peter Krausso fans are dying to know what happens there!

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