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.