Planking!

How is the weather by you these days?  I’ve seen so many reports that Winter still has a very tight grip in parts of the country and that’s tough, especially since we are all wanting to see our annuals bloom and display their beautiful colors.  I’m not in a Winter zone and it’s actually feeling more like Summer than Spring by me; it’s just about 88 degrees and that’s tough too!  I don’t want Spring to zip us by just yet.

By since it is Spring, I’ve jump-started my exercise regimen after a long, cold Winter.  I must say, I am not the gym type, the full-blown athlete, or the avid runner at all.  I never have been and I never will be.  I’m more the easy-going type and I like to take it easy when I exercise.  I just want to be in shape.  Truthfully, though, I don’t really like to go out and exercise all but I do it because I have to, which probably isn’t a good mentality to have either but what I mean that I have to is that I am 45 years old and I am also tall.  I have to take care of my bones, my posture, and my strength.  I have two, very active little ones and they keep me very busy so I have to stay as healthy as possible for them.  Just yesterday, I was teaching my 4-year old how to ride her bike and it took a toll on my back since the bike is so low and I am so tall.  Bending over low over a long while was killing my back!

So here are a few exercises that I do that really do keep me in good shape (I have no desire to be model thin, curves will do!):

1.  Walking.  Wow!  It is that simple.  I started with walking around the block.  Then I took it further and walked around our cul-de-sac neighborhood, then twice.  Now I’m walking about a mile around my neighborhood and really, that’s all I do.  I walk every other day for about 15 minutes to keep my weight stable and to get my heart going.  I lose or gain weight because of what I eat (another subject), not because I don’t walk enough.  It invigorates my body and I can get going with my day.

2.  5 lb. weights.  I’ve been working on toning my arms.  It’s been a long time since I wore sleeveless clothing and I really would like to since Summer’s are so hot here.  I use 5 lb. weights to do simple movements to strengthen my muscles and tone up my arms.  If you would like some visual instruction (because sometimes that is more motivating than just talking about it or describing it), click here for a video of Tracy Anderson’s appearance on Katie showing a few tips on how to tone your arms.  They are simple, yet effective.

3.  Planking!  Have you tried this?  I was surprised when I saw this phenomenon take flight as a form of exercise after the planking craze took off.  I thought it was just some crazy fun people were doing to get on YouTube so that it could go viral.  Well, it turns out that it does actually work to create a core, which helps with posture and to have a flat belly.  I live in the real world, though, so I don’t think I’ll ever have that tight, flat belly.  However, being in shape so that my clothes fit naturally and making me feel good is what these exercises do for me.  I first saw planking as a form of exercise from Harley Pasternak, a personal trainer, on People.com (of all places) and what I liked about that particular article is that he showcased three, very simple exercises to create a core.  Those are the ones I do because they are simple and I can do them every other day on my own time.  Anyone can do them.  Click here for the article and for the demonstrations.

Truly, with the crazy mom schedule I keep, this is all I have time for.  I walk in the morning and do the weights and core exercises at night when my children go to sleep.  I do find myself less tired and I weigh less too.  I can see a reduction of my body fat as well because my clothes are not as tight and are roomier, more relaxed.

Do you have some time-saving exercises to share that work for you?

Harley Pasternak demonstrates exercise planking

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