On Day 2 of Getting Healthier, I began with my usual 210-calorie breakfast consisting of a nonfat cinnamon dolce latte no whip, extra foamy. Getting healthy must include coffee regardless of nutrition (hey it has milk, that’s some calcium, right?!)
After my coffee I head home to have some oatmeal and strawberries. My nutrition research suggests I am not getting enough fiber in my diet. Although I hate the consistency of oatmeal I suffer through.
Now, on to planks. Anyone who has experienced a C-section (I’ve had 2) likely has very weak stomach muscles. Add the prior appendix removal and you have some seriously jelly core muscles. I did not realize that core is so imperative to your health. But, with a stronger core you can improve your posture, relieve tension on the lower back and knees. It also boosts your ability to get on to more strenuous exercise that will help everything else firm up (the ultimate goal here) So, it’s pretty imperative to start on this ASAP.
Planks are essentially the beginning of waking up your core muscle group. With fancy names you can see that these muscles are in your abdomen and also holding up your back and spine. Without strengthening this muscle group, your entire body is a mess working overtime to compensate.
To do a proper plank I suggest having a friend or family member watch you for form. I am still working on this as my muscles are so weak, but in only 2 days I am sort of getting the hang of it.
- Begin with your forearms and toes pressed into the floor. A yoga mat or carpet would be excellent to help you grip with your toes.
- Slowly push up on your forearms keeping elbows bent 90 degrees.
- Keep your body in as straight a line as you can. This is NOT so easy your first few times. Your butt will want to sag down – do what you can to keep it level with the rest of your body.
- Head is looking down to keep the line straight from ears to ankles.
- Hold position as long as you can. I can only hold like 5 seconds, if you’re good you can get to like 20 or beyond.
Here’s what a perfect Plank looks like (I will NOT show you mine – yet!)
Once you have a Plank held for like 15-20 seconds you can get fancy and add leg lifts and arm lifts. As I haven’t gotten there yet, I will keep you posted. I look forward to Planking on a daily basis as it sounds super-cool. “Hey Sara, did you Plank today?” Well, yes, yes I did…