There are certain things we do every day that seem second nature. For the most part, these are activities which keep us healthy and happy. Brushing our teeth, taking a shower, remembering our multi-vitamin with our morning coffee. For some of us, exercise doesn’t fit in so nicely with our daily routine. Habit formation is based on consistency. Internet rumors have fostered the myth that you can form a habit in 21 days, but it is a much more complex process than that. Studies have shown that habit formation takes at least two months – and closer to 66 days – of consistency. Try convincing yourself you’ll be able to carve out an hour of cardio each day for 66 days if you’ve never had to do that before – That’s longer than a full work week devoted to just exercising! But tell someone they can improve their health in just 3 minutes of physical exertion a day? That’s the stuff that gets habits to stick. When you plank every day for just three minutes, you’re setting yourself up for success. Here are some of the benefits of planking every day for three minutes per day. You’ll Notice Your Balance Improving Balance is one of those things that we take for granted until we find ourselves tripping over nothing or wobbling as we go down a flight of steps. We can take a fall and recover from it when we are younger. However, as we age, falls become more precarious – and sometimes even deadly. Having a solid sense of balance can drastically impact our balance as we age. Balance is influenced by our core stability, which is influenced by strong, healthy abdominal and gluteal muscles. When we train our muscles through planking, we set ourselves up for balance throughout our life. You’ll Notice You Are More Flexible As your core muscles grow stronger from daily planks, your body puts less stress on your joints from doing daily activities. Sedentary jobs, like office jobs, actually put a tremendous strain on the back muscles and cause them to weaken and shorten. Short, weakened muscles lead to a lower range of motion, which can lead to chronic pain. Planking strengthens muscles that tend to weaken over time, which allows for a greater range of motion and better flexibility. Your Back Pain Might Get Better Back pain isn’t just for older people now. A recent study even highlighted that one in three children have consistent back pain – a telling symptom of how much time we spend seated and in front of electronics. Sitting weakens our back muscles over time, which can cause them more pain. Additionally, working in front of the computer causes significant shoulder and neck pain from how you position your body. Planking exercises strengthen the muscles of the back, neck, and shoulders, so they don’t atrophy while doing necessary modern tasks. This helps them stretch out after sitting for an extended period. Keep An Eye On How You Get Out Of Bed (Physically & Mentally) When we’re young, getting out of bed can be a struggle because of our sleep quality. Young and middle-aged adults often sleep less than they should because of their workloads. Sometimes, even if a person can catch a full 8 hours of sleep, they wake up feeling groggy and unable to function. As an older adult, you may get to sleep longer (and may even sleep restfully) but find yourself struggling to get out of a supine position. This can be a motivating factor behind a move into an assisted living facility for many older adults, as limited mobility can lead to bedsores and other emergency medical conditions. Core functionality is crucial to getting out of bed – both physically and mentally. Using your core to get up and down lessens the likelihood of needing physical assistance as you age, allowing you to keep your independence and prevent mobility-related depression. As well as this, engaging core muscles boost mood and metabolism, both of which can lead to a better night’s sleep and less morning grogginess. Your Mood May Stabilize A great night’s sleep can improve your mood, and planking can improve your sleep. But plank exercises also boost endorphins within the brain, which are crucial for a stable mood. If you’ve found yourself feeling sad, irritable, or consistently angry, you might need an endorphin boost! While you can get endorphins from other pleasurable activities like intimacy or food consumption, they typically don’t have the same dynamic benefits as an everyday plank. Rather than reaching for comfort food or heading back to bed, a 1-minute plank done three times a day every day can boost endorphin production throughout the day, keeping your mood more stable. Your Focus Will Likely Improve Mental health impacts focus, and a low ability to focus can impact the formation of a new habit. It might seem like an endless cycle to overcome, but trying to add a simple daily exercise into your routine, like a planking routine, can improve your mental health and help you focus longer. Like planking increases endorphins that boost and stabilize mood, it also increases other chemicals that help focus. Exercise increases dopamine and serotonin, which impacts mood and directly (and positively) impacts focus. You’ll Feel Prepared To Take On More Exercise As a core-building exercise, planks improve overall athletic performance. They increase muscular endurance and improve energy levels, both of which can help you reach your athletic goals more seamlessly. But more importantly, planking improves self-esteem, which can be a barrier to someone seeking to change their exercise routine. Going to the gym is a big step for a person with body image issues who has never been to a gym. However, working up the amount of time added to a planking routine helps people trust their ability to improve and trust their bodies, which can make them motivated to try out the treadmill, the weights, or the climbing wall they’ve been thinking about tackling. Get started on a daily plank routine with the help of PurePlank. Learn more about how PurePlank can help you reach your goals by clicking here.
Planks are an understated exercise. It’s easy to write them off as an easy or supplementary exercise. But for WWE wrestler Jay Reso and creator of PurePlank, it was a fundamental part of getting back into shape. As a retired professional wrestler, he didn’t get as much exercise and training as he once did for his job. One day, he realized the difference his lifestyle change had made on his quality of life. He noticed himself getting winded climbing a flight of stairs. As he was putting his girls to bed that night, he resolved to make a change in his daily routine to live a long and healthy life with his kids. So, he turned to planking. He started with smaller steps and worked up to a three-minute daily plank. As his goals changed, he realized that his body was changing, too. He didn’t feel winded going upstairs anymore. He hurt less. He was less flexible. He was able to get active with his kids, which he and his kids both loved. His experience isn’t out of the ordinary: planking exercises have known benefits, and even a little each day can positively impact anyone. Plank Exercises Provide A Foundation For Athletic Performance Cardio is a valuable type of exercise, but it isn’t the only type of exercise that makes an impact on the body. In fact, without the proper muscle conditioning, meeting cardiovascular goals can be challenging. Specifically, strong core muscles provide a foundation for athletic performance. Runners, for example, train their core to optimize their movements and lessen the risk of injury. A strong core means less stress on certain joints like the knees and ankles. Strong core muscles also ensure that a runner’s balance is optimal during their circuit, which means a lesser chance of rolling an ankle, tripping, or pulling a muscle while running. Planks Boost Your Mental Health As Well As Your Physical Health Cardiovascular exercises are beloved by mental health advocates because they trigger the release of endorphins within the human brain. Endorphins are chemicals produced in the brain designed to increase pleasure and lessen stress and pain in the body. Your body releases endorphins when doing pleasurable activities, like getting a hug or drinking a sip of your favorite drink. They are also released after exercise, which is why health professionals recommend physical activity as part of a balanced mental health routine. Planking Works Out More Than Just Your Abs Planking exercises are often referred to as core training, and when beginners think of “core training,” they tend to think of the abdomen. Unlike crunches and situps, planking is a complete core exercise. It works out the transversus abdominis, rectus abdominis, internal oblique, and external oblique muscles, as well as the gluteus maximus. Consistent planking leads to stronger abdominal muscles, leg muscles, and posterior muscles. Stronger muscles in these areas lead to increased performance in other athletic activities, which can help burn fat more efficiently. Planks Prevent Long-Term Chronic Pain As the human body ages and muscles deteriorate, we may experience pain that causes us to shy away from physical activity. Unfortunately, increased pain due to age and less physical activity can actually cause and even worsen chronic pain. That’s why health professionals urge us to stay on top of our physical activity while we are young. Planking engages the muscles we depend upon most, keeping them strong and conditioning them to deal with the physical impact of aging. Specifically, plank exercises strengthen the muscles around the spine, which helps prevent back issues. This is important since as many as 16 million adults experience chronic back pain. Plank Exercises Boost Metabolism If you’ve found it hard to get rid of that holiday weight despite doing a HIIT workout every day, it might be because you’re not working out your muscles enough. The higher percentage of muscle within your body, the higher your metabolic rate. Muscles require more energy to burn than fat, so increasing your muscle mass can increase your resting metabolic rate. Everyone’s metabolism is different, so this may not always look like shedding pounds effortlessly. People may notice a more active metabolism through mood improvement, sleep improvement, and lower blood pressure. Planking Improves Posture Posture. Hearing the word might make you immediately roll your shoulders back and straighten up in your chair. It can be tough to maintain a healthy posture if you have a desk job or physically demanding labor job. Additionally, your posture can be influenced by things like your self-confidence and self-esteem. Poor posture can lead to chronic back and neck pain, among other health issues. Because planks require you to work out your back and abdominal muscles, you end up naturally engaging them more often – leading to better posture. Planking Is Modifiable Planks are truly one of the best beginner exercises a person can do. Not only do they build foundational muscle strength, but they can be done in short amounts of time that have significant impacts. Working in a 45-minute cardio routine every day might seem daunting to someone who has never worked out in their life. But 30 seconds 6 times a day? That efficiently works into anyone’s day. Even better? A modified plank still has benefits: meaning if 30 seconds seems out-of-the-question, you can do 10 seconds 6 times a day and work up from there. You may do planks on your side, on your knees, with extended forearms, or on your elbows. A modifiable exercise leaves room for goals, making it accessible to beginners and endlessly challenging for professionals. Planking Is An Easy Way To Engage Your Core Doing a plank may not be as easy as hanging out on the couch, but it can be done while doing several other relaxing activities. It might be hard to do crunches and Russian twists while watching the latest episode of your favorite show, but it’s easy to do a plank during it – and it sometimes distracts you from the fatigue that might have you giving up on your goals. Ready to begin your planking routine with the help of experts? Head over to PurePlank to get started.
The first of the year is widely considered a time for beginnings, especially at the gym. 50% of people who make New Year’s Resolutions include fitness in those resolutions. And while they might start hopeful about those resolutions, many resolution-makers abandon them right around Valentine’s day. One of the most reported reasons why people abandon their fitness resolutions? They get tired of the routine. It’s no surprise. Doing the same thing over and over – even if it’s good for health– can wear on a person. Core exercises are one of those routines that can become boring without extra effort. That’s why those pursuing fitness goals need to enjoy what they are doing, so they’re more likely to stick with it. Here are six ways anyone can make core routines more fun in 2022 and beyond. Get A Good Core Workout App Workout apps can be lifesavers regarding accountability and motivation for core workout goals. Apps like the PurePlank companion app offer easy-to-follow daily challenges made by pro athletes and trainers. The activities on these apps are designed to be fun and engaging, and apps like PurePlank also track personal performance to show how far you have come. Since staying motivated without seeing immediate results can be challenging, apps with tracking abilities are a game-changer. You get to see positive changes in your core workout routines even if you don’t see a noticeable improvement in your body, which is both exciting and motivating. Find A Core Workout Buddy Accountability is a big part of keeping resolutions, and finding a buddy to keep track of you (and for you to keep track of them) can make a difference when it comes to sticking with a core training routine. But one of the other perks of having a buddy is that it makes planking and core training fun! Workout buddies are there to help you find the lighter side of working out. They laugh with you, share in your experience, and help you think outside the box. As well as being there for you while you do more solitary core workout routines, like a 3-minute plank on PurePlank, they are also partners in ab-workout games. Tug of war, for instance, is a great core-strengthening exercise done with a partner that breaks up the monotony of doing just planks. Include Yoga In Your Week Yoga is sometimes thought of as a relaxing physical activity. It can be relaxing and gentle, depending on the type of yoga that you do. However, there are many poses and vinyasas that engage the core, just like traditional planking. Many yoga flows even include planks. Yoga has many of the same benefits as planking alone. It can lower stress, increase flexibility, and lessen chronic pain. Yoga is a wonderfully energizing core workout option when included in everyday core strengthening practices alongside traditional planking. Challenge Yourself Humans thrive when given challenges that speak to them. Core routines and planks don’t have to be the same daily routines. Exercise routines are meant to be mixed up. Not only does that ensure you are working out different core muscles and not focusing on the same ones, but it ensures you’re consistently enjoying what you do. Setting up challenges that work you toward a particular fitness goal is one effective and fun way to do this. Setting plank exercise challenges can be complex for beginners, as core exercises are new to you. That’s why having a trainer, or an app, set specific challenges can be a good option. Challenges should be fun and engaging, but they should also have a purpose. Apps like the PurePlank app help you set up attainable goals that don’t exceed your limits but still allow you to feel that you’ve made progress. Plank With Your Entertainment We’ve all heard it before, and some of us have even said it ourselves: There’s no time in the day to exercise like we want to. Often, this is because exercising means cutting out wind-down time. Wind-down time is indeed essential for mental health. Going hard all day at work and the gym and then going straight to bed wears you down. So if you find it hard to motivate yourself to plank because it isn’t as relaxing as unwinding in front of the television or a good book, you’re not alone. Luckily, planking is one of those exercises that mix well with traditionally sedentary activities like reading a book, talking on the phone, or binge-watching your favorite show. To get into a planking routine, try doing it in front of a book or TV show you like. Set small goals for yourself as you watch your show or listen to your podcast, like holding a plank for three sets of 30 seconds. You can use the playback tool on your streaming device to time yourself and set your limits. For those who enjoy these sorts of activities, this can be a great way to get some core training love worked into your routine without sacrificing your weekly wind-down time. It even makes your planking seem to go by faster! Reward Your Hard Work It is also essential to reward yourself when you meet activity goals, especially for beginners. It can be hard to reward yourself healthily when focusing on fitness, e.g., without food motivation. However, it just requires looking outside the box a little bit. When you set a fitness goal, write out a list of potential rewards you can use to keep your motivation high. Motivation is key to enjoying an activity, so this list should keep you going even when you feel like quitting. Some simple ideas when you hit a fitness milestone? See that movie you’ve wanted to see in theaters. Sleep in an extra half-hour. Spend some time laying out in the sun and doing nothing. Do that woodworking craft you’ve wanted to do. Anything that brings you joy can be used to help you obtain fitness success. If you’re interested in working on your core, PurePlank can help. Check out our revolutionary plank board to see where you can take your core workout plan this year.