Sunday, October 7, 2012

31 days: plank it out

Well, I've missed the last few days of the 31 Days series, but such is life and with 1200+ bloggers participating, I'm sure I'm not the only one.

So instead of cramming extras in, let's just start fresh for this week.  I'm sharing easy tips for a healthier you and a healthier family.

This week I'm going to focus on the fitness side of health. Don't worry, nothing too crazy or difficult. I know what you're thinking, the crazy, double-stroller pushing mama runner is going to tell me to register for an ultra-marathon.

Nope!

Today's tip is: do a plank a day.

One.

For 10 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute. However long you can hold it.

Then do ONE again tomorrow and try to hold it for a little longer.

A plank is a fantastic whole-body exercise that you can bust out anywhere, anytime. Now you're probably not going to plank out in the cereal isle at the grocery store.

But how about a commercial break during your favorite evening show? Or one in each room of the house as you go about cleaning up. Close the door to your office and bust it out during your workday, bust out a few!

The plank will work your arms, shoulders, back, abs, glutes (butt), legs and more.  I have given up crunches and sit-ups. I don't know if I'll ever do them again. They strain my neck (a weak area for me) and I have split ab muscles (diastasi recti) from pregnancyx3 and crunches and sit-ups are the worst thing I could do. Planks are my BFF.

Here's proper form for a plank.

You want a straight line from your shoulders down your legs. Keep your butt pulled down and focus on engaging your core. If you feel the need to push your butt up, then drop the plank---you're getting too tired.

There are a thousand variations of the plank. But just start with a simple plank. Having a strong core is one of the most important  things for our bodies. Not just for exercise purposes, but general life function.

So, get to it. And report back here! (I bet your kids will do this one with you too. Or challenge your spouse!)

An update for you: I have not had any of my favorite frosty goodness in 7 days now.  That's easily the longest stretch in a few years. The first part of the week was pretty easy, but later in the week I was really wanting some. It killed me to drive through In-n-Out and not order a Diet Coke. But I did it. And I'm happy about it. Onward ho!

Now, I'm going to plank it out and see how long I last.  This week: no frosty goodness, and a plank a day.

Let's go!