Denise Sanger

Denise Sanger

Just one exercise? Really Denise? I can "hear" you now as you read this article. Let me clarify. There are many, many reasons why you need to exercise but there is one exercise that you should make sure you do every day.

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 have to constantly tell myself “shoulders back and down; chest up. Head is always a natural extension of your spine.”  

After I finish teaching my morning classes, I do sit at a desk for the balance of the day. It is really easy to forget about your posture when you're focused on what you're doing. For me, many times while working I end up slouched. Then after my hysterectomy, the slouching seemed to get worse so it’s doubly important that I am aware of how I am sitting and standing.

So what is the exercise that I make sure I do every single day? Planks. That's it. No new invention. No new exercise. Simple planks. Why planks? Planks strengthen your core from your shoulders to your hips, abs and your 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 strengthen your core. We are no longer in the days where doing 1,000 crunches is the way to go. Start doing planks today beginning with three, 20-second planks.

How to do a plank

How do you do a plank? Place your hands directly under your shoulders like you are about to do a push-up (note you can also do this standing against the wall). Ground your toes into the ground and squeeze your glutes to stabilize your body. Keep your head and neck neutral by looking at a spot about a foot in front of you. Pull your belly button toward your back and hold for 20 seconds. If you have not been doing planks, this will be challenging when you first start. As you become stronger, add an additional 10 seconds to your time. 

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? Have an amazing week!

To you health,

Denise

Denise Sanger is an over 50 health/lifestyle blogger. Known for motivation, inspiration & loving the BEACH. Certified fitness instructor, Silver Sneakers Instructor, Zumba, STRONG by Zumba instructor, gentle flow yoga, teaches morning classes at Country Strong Gym. Denise may be reached at DeniseSanger.com, 386-292-6105 or denisesanger@gmail.com.

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