Ok, confession time. Or better yet, twitter-fession time. I’m a bit of a Twitter addict. Ok, maybe more than a bit. I may be a big enough addict that I find myself talking about my “tweeps” like they are good personal friends. But it’s a new world and social media serves more than just entertainment purposes. Twitter really does have more to offer than just seeing what Justin Beiber had for lunch today.
This summer a particular hashtag kept coming across my feed that caught my attention. #Plankaday was showing up after several of my “tweeps” mentioned they got their ab workout in. Having just lamented that I needed to commit to a more consistent ab routine to help me with my running, the Plank a Day challenge walked into my life.
Apparently I’m not alone in my loathing of ab work. While I know it’s useful, I still hate to do it.
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 came up with a solution for those of us who hate the necessary evils of abdominal workouts.
“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,” states Dr. Pagoto on the Plank a Day Facebook page. “My friend Mike has the same problem. To get motivated, [he] and I started Plank A Day on Twitter.”
“Here is how it works: The goal is to do a 1 minute plank each day and then tweet your plank using the hashtag #PlankADay. What is a plank? It is one of the best abdominal/core exercises (and NOT a crunch),” as explained under the “Plank a Day Revolution” link on Dr. Pagoto’s website, FUDiet.com.
I wanted in on the revolution, especially if it would keep me accountable. Under pressure to save face, I’ve had to make certain that I get my plank completed and tweet about it with the hashtag everyday. If not, the Plank Police publicly come after me on Twitter. Bauman will publicly call out all those who haven’t reported their plank at the end of the day. Hey, peer pressure works and when it’s pressure to make a healthy habit stick, it can’t be a bad thing.
The Plank A Day revolution is still small in numbers, but big in spirit. The initiative has lead to more people doing planks and many have found ways to make the tough task fun. Tweets filled with goofy plank puns and plank wars among husbands and wives have helped keep the movement going.
So, from time to time, I may just want to know what the “Beibs” is watching on TV tonight and Twitter helps me with that. However, lately I’ve noticed that by mile 13 of a 15 mile run, I’m not as tired as I was last month, my shoulders haven’t been drooping like they typically do, and I feel like I’ve got some added strength to carry me to the end. I’m glad Twitter has helped with with that, too.
Come on! Get your #Plankaday on too!
July 21st, 2011