6 Exercises to Avoid When You’re Pregnant + What to Do Instead
Becoming a new mom can be overwhelming; it’s beautiful and joyous and — most of all — it’s life changing. From your first 40 days of motherhood to navigating the body-positive teenage years, your duty as a mom is a full-time job. Working exercise into your day is a challenge, and that can start during pregnancy. These are the months when staying healthy is so important, but keep in mind — there are some exercises you’re going to want to steer clear of while you have your bun in the oven. Luckily, we have Meghan Kennihan, a USA Track & Field coach and certified personal trainer, ready with some smart advice.
1. No to intense cardio; yes to power walking and jogging: If you’re not already a runner, Meghan suggests that instead of jumping on the track with your local run club or doing the treadmill interval class at your gym, consider light jogging or power walking. “It will tone your legs and boost your mood with feel-good endorphins. Plus, it’s an exercise that you can do all the way until delivery,” she says. “If you were a runner before your pregnancy you can continue running with little to consider, just monitor your heart rate and make sure to run on groomed surfaces since your balance and weight shifts may be more.”
2. No to stand-up paddle boarding; yes to swimming: Stand-up paddle boarding and other water sports activities, like knee boarding and tubing, can be dangerous, which is why Meghan suggests a low-impact exercise like swimming. She adds, “This is great aerobic exercise that is easy on the joints and helps with swollen ankles. Plus, no matter how much baby weight you put on, you’ll feel light as a feather and get an amazing cardio workout in.”
3. No to Olympic lifting; yes to machine-based lifting: “Instead of jumping into Cross-Fit Met Cons and Olympic lifting, where the intensity is high and the lifts can be complicated and dangerous if your technique is not perfect, try machine-based lifting or lifting with the assistance of a personal trainer. If you are new to lifting post-baby, stick with lighter weights,” advises Meghan.
4. No to outdoor cycling; yes to spin class: There’s no doubt that jumping on a bike is a great form of cardio. It’s the when and where that you might want to consider during pregnancy. “Outside there are texting drivers, potholes and unexpected situations that might be more difficult to navigate. Get the great aerobic exercise from the bike by heading to spin class,” Meghan says. “It’s a safe way to take a load off your legs and get your heart rate up. Plus, you get to control the pace and resistance, making it another workout that is easy on the joints.”
5. No to ab workouts; yes to ab workouts: Let us explain. Well, let Meghan explain. “Skip all ab exercises that involve laying on your back, like basic crunches, bicycle crunches and reverse crunches. Instead, strengthen your abdominals with exercises like kneeling pelvic tilt, standing pelvic tilts, standing crunches and heel slides. These will ease your aching back and help to avoid a sway back as you get heavier in the front.”
6. No to Bikram or hot yoga; yes to prenatal yoga: “[Avoid] classes where overheating and lying on your back can be harmful to the baby,” notes Meghan. “Hatha and prenatal yoga are wonderful for relaxation, breathing and general flexibility and strength. It strengthens core muscles and eases back pain.”
Soon-to-be mamas, tweet us your fave exercises @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com