A Plank a Day Keeps the Plank-Police Away
By Lacy J. Hansen, a two-time Boston Marathon finisher, for DietsInReview.com
If you follow Twitter, you’ve probably noticed that the #Plankaday hashtag has been showing up quite frequently this summer. For those who hate ab work, as I admittedly do, this is a fun, competitive and simple way to check that plank exercise off your to-do list.
Dr. Sherry Pagoto, a licensed clinical psychologist and an associate professor of medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and her friend Mike Bauman shared an idea for those who lament the necessary evils of ab work.
“Hate ab workouts? I hate them MORE. I hate them so much that I have never been able to do them for more than a few days without quitting. As a result my back and abs are weak and pitiful. My friend Mike has the same problem. To get motivated, [we] started Plank A Day on Twitter,” shared Dr. Pagoto on the movement’s Facebook page.
How does it work? She explains that the goal is to complete a one-minute plank daily and then tweet about it with the hashtag #PlankADay. I wanted to join this revolution, especially since it could keep me accountable. Under pressure to save face, I’ve had to be sure to get my plank completed and tweeted every day. If not, the Plank Police, aka Bauman, will publicly Tweet out at those who did not report their plank at the end of the day. Peer pressure works both ways, and when that pressure is to make a healthy habit stick, it’s all good.
The Plank-A-Day revolution is still growing, but very large in spirit. The initiative has helped more people include planks in their fitness regimens and many have found ways to make the tough task fun. Tweets filled with silly plank puns and plank wars among spouses have helped keep the movement alive.
While Twitter is great for keeping me informed of what “The Biebs” is having for dinner, it’s also keeping me accountable to my workouts. Since I’ve started Plank A Day, I’ve noticed that by mile 13 of a 15-mile run, I’m not as tired as I was a few weeks ago, my shoulders aren’t drooping like usual, and I feel stronger to carry myself to the end.
So, who’s joining me and going to get your plank exercise on?