The plank is a great low-impact way to strengthen your core and improve your posture, but did you know that planking can also boost your mood? Here are three ways that planking can improve your mood.
1. Planking releases endorphins, which are chemicals in our bodies that promote a feeling of pleasure and energy. When you plank or do any exercise your body is then releasing that chemical, lifting your spirits and energy levels.
2. Planking also helps to stretch as well as relax virtually all the muscles that are often stiff and tense from prolonged sitting. By relieving tension in these areas, you should feel less tense, less stressed, more calm, more relaxed or more energized.
3. Planking in the morning helps release tension throughout the day. By doing a plank, you will stretch and relax the muscles most prone to tension and help calm your brain’s fight-or-flight response. Planking also helps to stretch and relax virtually all the muscles in the core, and we use our core muscles a lot throughout the day.
The plank can be done in a few different positions. The most common are the straight arm plank and the forearm plank.
To do the straight arm plank begin as you would a push up. Both feet and hands are on the floor at all times. Keep your wrists in line with your shoulders, arms and legs straight. Also remember to keep your back as straight as possible and avoid arching.
The forearm plank is done like the straight arm plank but with your forearms resting on the ground instead of your hands. Keep your elbows in line with your shoulders and your legs straight. This variation will take pressure off your wrists and target your arms a little more. Keep your back as straight as possible.
Try the plank every morning to see the impact it can have on your mood and your life.