It’s safe to say that 99% of us probably want to change something about our bodies. Standing on a scale every morning lets us pay attention to how we’re doing fitness-wise…but other than that, choosing a salad for lunch one day out of the week might be the only thing many of us do to try and alter the (sometimes shocking) numbers. Working out is hard. Eating right is hard. Balancing a full-time job and kids and finding time to do anything for yourself? Harder. That’s why a delicious meal at the end of a long work day is impossible to turn down. Well, for me, anyway.
So when these “miracle” exercises make their way across social media and go VIRAL, it makes me wonder…why? If it was so very revolutionary, wouldn’t we all be doing it? Why does it take a cute infographic and a picture of “before and after” to make us consider working out everyday?
Right now, it’s the “30 Day Plank Challenge.” This position works out your core – supposedly giving you fantastic abs in just 1 month – IF you can keep up the rigorous demands!
Clifford Yun, a doctor of physical therapy at Alta Physical Therapy in New York City weighs in on this debate with some solid (and scary) information!
Plank can be a great way to build core strength, when used as part of a balanced exercise program that takes into account your individual body condition. However, when an exercise program like a 30-day plank challenge doesn’t take into account your body’s limitations, you could be at risk for injury.
When doing a plank, neck or low back pain may indicate weaknesses in the upper or lower parts of the spine. Be careful if your back sags toward the ground because of a weak core. Sagging can compress vertebrae, put pressure on discs and cause shoulder joint inflammation.”
If we aren’t confident of our ability to do this, the challenge doesn’t sound so wonderful anymore…but we still want to lose weight and tone. So, if we can’t do any of these 30-Day Challenges, what can we do?
Consider building strength before doing a plank challenge by doing sit-ups or Pilates and yoga exercises.”
This just goes to show us that there really isn’t a way to instantly get into shape…but consistent diet and exercise really is the best option!
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