Tag Archives: march ab-ness

I’m addicted to Abs

I’m sure you’re all wondering how Abs for Money is coming along so I’ll tell you. I’m up to $5 in book money and I’ve discovered a way to make planking addictive. Technically I’m addicted to playing Fishdom, but I’ve discovered I can Plank and Play so it’s working.

fishdomFishdom is like any other match-3-or-more-and-clear-the-tiles game and therefore sucks away quarter hours by the handful with “one more try and I’ll quit, I promise”. Each level takes approximately 3 minutes to attempt which is deliciously equal to my 3 minute goal for abs per day. I set the timer on my phone for 3 minutes and get into plank position, then switch to Fishdom and start playing. The game distracts my brain from my screaming abs and–more often than not–when the timer goes off, I want to try the level again so I set  the timer again and go.

knee plankI’ve also discovered that you can plank on your knees. I hadn’t realized how long it’d been since I planked for real (on toes and elbows or hands like a push-up) and when my plank lasted a measly ten seconds, I said “Hmm, if you can alter push ups, why not planks?” It’s easier (obviously) on your knees and elbows, but it still works your abs and it keeps your hands free for playing Fishdom. This week I’m going to try going to toes again now that my abs are enormous…ly warmed up. Maybe.

If my elbows are tired of planking, I’ll flip over onto my back and hold my legs out at a 45 degree angle from the floor while I play.  How do you know when you’ve reached 45 degrees? Your abs will burn and you’ll want to drop your legs: that’s the sweet spot. If you look at your toes and it seems more like 85 degrees than 45, just listen to your abs: if they’re unhappy, you got it right.

The only time Plank and Play doesn’t work is when my kids see me on the floor and jump on my back. Maybe someday I’ll be able to plank with a child riding me, but I’ll need to defeat a few hundred Fishdom levels first.

 

Images courtesy of: Get Healthy U (knee plank) and Playrix and Google (Fishdom)

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March Ab-ness Starts Today

March Ab-ness begins TODAY! Why today? Because I couldn’t think of a reason to wait (other than laziness). Two years ago I was doing TRX once a week and when I finished March Ab-ness I felt like I had a belt of muscle around my waist. It was wonderful. I miss that.

coreI haven’t totally stopped working my core—I work it in fits and spurts—but for months I’ve been wanting to get back to consistent mostly-daily core workouts. I’ve proved to myself in Marches past that 3 minutes a day for 30 days takes an inch off my waist. So why haven’t I stuck with it? Ha! You know why. Go ahead, think of a reason. Think of four reasons. My responses are: yes, probably, definitely, and “well, I never!”

The point is not why I let it fizzle, but what I’m going to do about it. Why not start today? I’ve “started today” a few times over months past and fizzled again. So what’s going to be different about today? I’m going to bribe myself.

I work best with goals and rewards, much like a poodle, so I’m going to set a goal and reward myself when I reach it. For example, I like books. I buy most of my books at second hand stores and library book sales and then they sit in my To Read cabinet for months until I get to them. But sometimes, dag-gone-it, I see a book I want to read and it’s new and costs more than a dollar and I look at that cabinet of books I already have and how much milk that new book money could buy and I sigh and set it back on the shelf.

However…

9df88ffd9eff46661653075fe526e848I’ve made myself a chart and decided to pay myself 10 cents for every 1 minute of ab exercises I do. At the end of the month I’m going to tally those minutes into dollars and go buy books. Three minutes a day for 30 days gives me $9 NEW book money.

Books motivate me. They may not motivate you. What does? What special something would you like to do/buy/see/hear/say at the end of the month when you reach your goal? When I first started losing weight, my first goal was a digital scale. Our old scale had a big dial that would change your weight if you leaned forward or backward as you stood on it. I’d hop on and look down and guesstimate my weight from the worn wobbly black lines and if I didn’t like it I’d lean back a bit. The digital scale let me see my progress more accurately. And I covered it with sparkly butterfly stickers so it was pretty.

Figure out what reward motivates you and what goal you’d like to achieve. Start today. Why not?

Feel free to share your own goal and/or reward in the comments. We can learn from one another’s good ideas.

 

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Philippians 3:12

Strengthen Your Core in the Kitchen

core-is-cookinWomen spend a lot of time in the kitchen. If we did core exercises every time we entered the kitchen, we’d be able to use our iron hard abs to tenderize meat. Whether you’re deciding what to cook for dinner, waiting for water to boil, or unloading groceries, a minute or two of core exercises here and there add up to better fitting pants.

Women’s Health has a good (and short) video showing four ab exercises we can do standing up. Replace those dumbbells with cans of beans, gallons of milk, or sacks of flour, and we’ll be cookin’ in the kitchen in more ways than one. 

March Ab-ness has begun, but it’s not too late to join in! Pick a goal and start today!

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:10

March Ab-ness 2017

It’s that time of year again! Trees are budding, basketball tournaments dominate sports news, and the multiple clothing layers that have hidden bodies from sunlight since mid-October are being stripped away one at a time as the temperature rises. We do not sweat t-shirt weather because we are participating in March Ab-ness and by the time we’re down to one layer, our core will be strong.

For those of you who are new to March Ab-ness, here’s how it works. Choose a core-strengthening goal for the month of March, do it, and see how great you feel and how much better your pants fit in April. It can be a certain number of crunches crunched, minutes spent planking, or even second sucking in your belly. (Sucking in is contracting the muscles and technically, that counts as exercise.)

coreMy goal this March is 3 minutes per day of ab exercises for a total of 93 minutes of core building. I find that having a daily goal and a grand monthly total helps keep me on track. If I miss a day here or there, I can make it up and still stay on par for the month. If three minutes sounds like unattainable agony for you, aim for one minute. Let’s be honest: for most of us, even ten seconds a day is an improvement and an ab-worthy goal.

core-fruitA bikini is not in my future, Katie, so why should I participate? March Ab-ness is not all about looks. It’s about strengthening your core. “Think of your core muscles as the sturdy central link in a chain connecting your upper and lower body. Whether you’re hitting a tennis ball or mopping the floor, the necessary motions either originate in your core, or move through it.” Your ab muscles and back muscles work as a team; if one side weak, the other side will try to compensate which can lead to injury or pain. In fact, core strengthening exercises are often prescribed to relieve lower back pain.

core-snowmenSome more benefits of a strong core are better balance, better posture, and better performance in sports, chores, and the bedroom. That’s right, ladies, a strong core improves your tennis swing, your vacuuming, and your love-making. You can read more about the benefits HERE.

If you’re going to participate, consider leaving a comment below with your goal to encourage others (and me!) to make this March a core-changer.

 

The Lord is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will exalt Him. Exodus 15:2 NKJV

 

Images courtesy of: mixtapecomics.com (ab exercises-I love this picture, by the way…finally, someone else who exercises in baggy shorts!), bizarrocomics.com (snowmen), offthemark.com (fruit)