After turning 50 a few years ago, I came to believe in a few fundamental truths. These have helped simplify my thinking and helped me craft an approach to positive living, and in the course of the next few blogs I’ll explain how I arrived at each one.
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. It’s a simple concept that motivates me to keep on my own road to fitness, every day. These three parts of our whole are intricately intertwined: when we exercise (body), we’re also doing something that research shows benefits our brain cells (mind), and reports (both scientific and anecdotal) confirm that moving your body makes you feel good and better about yourself (spirit). 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.
That’s the essence of ‘positive living’ . . . and fitness is at the very core.
Finding time for fitness isn’t always easy, though. I know this from personal experience.
But at the very heart of my 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, butt. It’s the one thing I do every single day, even if I have no time to do anything else. Take a look at this short video, demonstrating the two basic ways to do the Plank correctly, so it really works:
But why should you do The Plank every day? Here are the top 3 reasons:
- 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. Click here to see a short video demonstrating all three moves.
- It works better than sit-ups and crunches to strengthen your core: I gave up doing sit-ups and crunches when I added the Plank to my daily program. If done properly, every part of your body is held tight and taut (like a plank), engaging the core like no other exercise.
- You’ll see definition in your arms you never thought you’d see again–After 50, our arms can often look a bit flabby, and for sure they will lose strength if we don’t work them out. By doing the Plank every day, especially if you push yourself to hold the pose for over 60 seconds at a time, you’ll see noticeable changes in the look and tone of your arms.
Stay in touch and let me know how you’re doing! Until next time, remember this:
We can’t control getting older . . . but . . . we can control how we do it!
At 59, I thought I would never do a sit up, pull up, push up, lunge, or burpee. At 61, I do them all. I guess I need to add the plank to the list!!
thanks for the encouragement and the inspiration! I recently starting trying to incorporate the plank into my routine but have not been consistent . I am so happy I found your website it’s great knowing that 52 is not too late to turn things around!
The plank is incorporated into almost every class that I take at my health club. I hold it responsible for my firmer arms. Thanks.
I want to thank you for introducing me to the plank! You demonstrated it at a Women at Woodstock event. I didn’t think it was possible but now I do have a trainer and do it regularly at well past 60.