Not everything in life is a “given.” We can never say with complete certainty that we’ll be in the same job, relationship, home, or state of health, as we are right now. Life is fraught with change — both, wanted and unwanted, good and bad.
This is especially true for those of us who are being squeezed into that sandwich between children, aging parents, and everything else that life has to offer.
After reaching a certain point in life, we begin to understand–and believe in–a few fundamental truths, which are necessary for simplifying our thinking, and our approach to positive living.
One of them is this: all roads lead to fitness! Here’s why: If we don’t take care of our bodies, minds, and spirits as we age, we won’t have the strength and stamina to do everything we have to do and want to do. If you feel fit and good about your overall wellbeing, (including how you look, another positive benefit of exercising), you’ll be much more inclined to pursue opportunities and confront challenges. One positive dot connects to another.
Finding time for fitness isn’t always easy, though.
At the very heart of our overall fitness program is one exercise that truly does it all. The Plank tones and strengthens every part of the body: legs, back, arms, shoulders, abdomen, hips, and butt. It’s the one thing I do every single day, even if I have no time to do anything else.
Here are the top 7 reasons why you should do planks every day:
1. You can do it anywhere, anytime, and it’s free
There’s no need to go to a gym or trainer to do this move. Just get down on a rug or yoga mat and try to hold the correct pose (see video) for 60 seconds or more. If you can, take a 10-second break and do it again. Aim for three sets (preferably combined with 20 push-ups and 20 squats).
2. It helps fight osteoporosis
According to the National osteoporosis Foundation, 9 million American adults have osteoporosis and over 48 million more have low bone mass, placing them at risk for osteoporosis and broken bones. But, you don’t always know you have this disease until you break something. Take control and do this exercise to build better bones.
3. A Toned Belly
Planking will help build your deep inner core muscles that lay the groundwork for that six-pack look. As your abdominal muscles become stronger, your mid-section will tighten.
Keep in mind, however, that in order to really get “six-pack” abs, you have to shed fat. For men that would be a body fat of about 6 percent, and women around 9 percent, in order to achieve that classic six-pack. This is not necessarily healthy.
4. Reduce Back Pain
Planks work for back pain because they strengthen your core, which has the pleasant “side effect” of reducing back pain. They also strengthen your back muscles, especially those in your upper back.