Wanna Plank?

Several of you have recently asked about my exercise regimen and whether or not I have one. Indeed, I do have a weekly workout routine, and your inquiries couldn't have been better timed. I've just added a new twist to my regimen, in fact, so I'll tell you about the standard routine, along with the newest addition in one post. How quaint! 

First, my current regimen: Exercise to me is essential for a healthy body and mind. It clears my head, makes me feel better about myself, gives me energy, is great for my skin, and keeps my joints supple. I try and work out three to four times a week, jogging on the treadmill for about 15-20 minutes each time. (I walk for two, then run for 13-15, then walk or run a little more, if I have time.) I go a total of 1.5 - 2 miles, which may not seem like much, but it works for me. 

And that seems to be the most important thing. I wanted to find a regimen that I could get excited about and look forward to...not dread or despise. People have made a lot of suggestions over the years ("Isn't yoga better for your joints?" or "Don't you have to go at least 20 min for any benefit?" Or even better, "I think three times a week for you should be plenty"), but I seem to be doing just fine on my own, following the cues from my own body. I like jogging, I like sweating and cleaning out my pores, and I like that feeling of accomplishment when I've finished. Some days, that seems like the only thing I get done, so it's a welcomed part of my weekly routine. 

That said, I'm always careful to listen to my body. When I'm hurting, I don't push it. If I need to stop and walk, I do. Interestingly, I do try and work out even when I'm not feeling so great, because it does wonders for my psyche. I never push my joints beyond their capabilities, but usually a quick run will do me some good. In fact, it often makes my joints feel better, and definitely serves as a distraction to those joints that aren't cooperating. If, however, I hop on the treadmill, only to realize my body can only run a few minutes, I walk the rest. I never do anything that would aggravate a flare, but often times, the thing that will most improve my flare, is a little exercise. 

I also try to sprinkle in a few push ups and sit ups now and again. But since I've had kids, I haven't been very consistent, though it's no fault of theirs. The girls LOVE to do exercises with me. It's just that I never give myself the extra 15 minutes to work them into my routine. Until now. 

This latest addition to my regimen is a short and easy one, and I'm liking it so far. Johnny and I are doing it together (which makes it that much more fun), and I'm anxious to see the results. I heard about this from Alexandria Stylebook, and jumped right on the bandwagon. 

So here it is - the 30 Day Plank Challenge. Want to join me?  

The 30 Day Plank Challenge will send your core strength through the roof! Yes, all you have to do is HOLD this position, nothing else! It looks pretty easy, but it isn’t!

Day 1 – 20 seconds
Day 2 – 20 seconds
Day 3 – 30 seconds
Day 4 – 30 seconds
Day 5 – 40 seconds
Day 6 – REST
Day 7 – 45 seconds
Day 8 – 45 seconds
Day 9 – 60 seconds
Day 10 – 60 seconds
Day 11 – 60 seconds
Day 12 – 90 seconds
Day 13 – REST
Day 14 – 90 seconds
Day 15 – 90 seconds
Day 16 – 120 seconds
Day 17 – 120 seconds
Day 18 – 150 seconds
Day 19 – REST
Day 20 – 150 seconds
Day 21 – 150 seconds
Day 22 – 180 seconds
Day 23 – 180 seconds
Day 24 – 210 seconds
Day 25 – 210 seconds
Day 26 – REST
Day 27 – 240 seconds
Day 28 – 240 seconds
Day 29 – 270 seconds

Benefits of Plank Exercise:
*It strengthens your lower back
*It develops your core muscles – which include the abs, back, hips and the butt.
*It helps you to avoid injuries and encourages good posture.
*It can be done anywhere.
*It develops your abdominals by targeting the rectus abdominis.

And if you need a little more encouragement, here's another planking demonstration from our resident exercise guru. Look at that form! Her four-year-old abs are strengthening by the second!

Let me know if you're on board...no pun intended! 


Leslie said…
I love planking, too. I try to do a minute at a time, but I like your regimen of building up the time gradually.
Monica said…
I'm totally down Sara. I'll join your planking. I do yoga once a week, and I could benefit from the core strengthening. I am going to see if I can get some of my friends on board with the plank program.
Bente said…
I´m in! I recently found your blog, and I love it! I have Lupus too, and can relate to the things you write about. I try to stay in shape, but haven't done this exercise for some time now. Thank you for the reminder!
Anonymous said…
I live in Northern Virginia and am looking for a great rheumatologist. Sorry for being off subject but would appreciate a referral. Thanks!
Unknown said…
Dr Virgina Steen at Georgetown univ hospital!

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