One thing that I have noticed as I have gotten older is that I must make a conscious effort to focus on my posture. This means throughout the day I hear Coach Becky in my head telling us “Shoulders back and down; core engaged.” Since I do sit at a desk for much of my day, it’s very easy to forget your posture and for me, many times while working I end up slouched over. After my hysterectomy, the slouching seems to have gotten worse so it’s doubly important that I am aware of how I am sitting and standing.
The exercise that I make sure I do every single day are planks. Planks strengthen your core from your shoulders to your hips, abs and back. That being said, planks are no walk in the park – they require you to use the muscles in your upper body, abs and back to keep your body properly aligned.
In addition to cardio and weight training, planks are the quickest way to not only strengthen your core but to flatten your abs also. We are no longer in the days where we were doing 1,000 crunches to flatten our tummy. Start your planks today with three, 30 second planks (see the photo below). Pull your belly button toward your back and hold for 30 seconds. If you have not been doing planks, this will be challenging when you first start.
As you become stronger, add 10 to 15 seconds to each plank. When you are able to hold your planks for one minute, it is time to consider spider planks (where you start in plank position and alternate bringing your foot up to your side. Next add side planks where you are holding the plank position on your side – on your elbow and side of feet.
Strengthening your core with planks will help you to stand and sit straighter throughout the day. See why I said it was the most important exercise you should do each day?
To your health,
Denise Sanger is a high energy business owner with over 30 years experience in the marketing area. She has transitioned her love of fitness and marketing into helping others succeed in their own journey to health and businesses. She founded How To Stay Fit Over 50 to provide hope and support to others by motivating them to take the first step in their fitness journey no matter what age. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com