This is a powerful full-body exercise because it strengthens not only your abdominals but almost every other muscle group as well. It can even be meditative when practiced with deep breathing. Form is important, so it is best to have someone watch you the first few times to check for proper alignment. Above all, concentrate on pulling your abdominal muscles up toward your spine and keep breathing. Strive to hold the position for at least 10 seconds to start, and then work up to at least one minute.
Lie face down with your forearms on the floor and your elbows directly beneath your shoulders. Keep your feet flexed with the bottoms of your toes on the floor.
Push up off the floor, rising up on your toes so that only your forearms and toes touch the floor. Your body should hover a few inches off the floor in a straight line from shoulders to feet.
Keep your back flat, draw your belly button in toward your spine, and tighten your butt cheeks. Look at the floor to keep your head in a neutral position and breathe normally. Don’t let your butt sag down or stick up in the air. Think of a plank of wood.
Hold the position for at least 10 seconds and lower yourself back to the floor. Repeat two more times. The goal is to work up to holding the plank position for at least one minute and repeat two to three times.
Water makes up approximately 60 percent of our body weight and is essential for maintaining our health. We can survive up to 40 days without food, but we cannot survive without water for more than three to five days. Only 57 percent of adults drink more than four cups of water per day. That is a serious metabolic drought.
based on wellness, weight, and activity level. On average a healthy person who engages in moderate exercise needs 1/2 oz of pure, clean water per pound of body weight. Example: A 150 lb. person needs 75 ounces of water a day.
What kind of water is best to drink?
Try to avoid tap water unless it’s filtered with a reliable filter. There are many on the market. The best-case scenario is a total house filter so that all of your water is clean and without toxins. If that’s not possible, a good pitcher filter or a filter that attaches to your kitchen faucet is a good option. Try not to drink out of plastic water bottles as they are full of toxins and harmful to the environment. Try a vacuum-insulated stainless steel water bottle that you can keep refilling. Your water will remain at the perfect temperature throughout the day, and keeping it with you at all times is a great reminder to drink water as well.
- Upon waking, drink eight to 16 ounces of pure, clean H2O. Think of this as a shower on the inside.
- Twenty to 30 Minutes before each meal, drink 8 to 16 ounces of pure, clean water.
- Two hours after each meal, drink 8 to 16 ounces of pure, clean water.
- Take small sips throughout the day to make up the rest of your daily water requirements. Smaller sips are absorbed better and will not result in increased trips to the bathroom.
- Note: Do not drink more than 4 ounces of water during meals as that will dilute your digestive enzymes.
Tips for increasing H2O intake:
- Carry a water bottle with you as a reminder to stay hydrated throughout the day.
- Infuse your water with fresh produce (see recipes) to increase the nutritional value and make the taste more interesting.
- Set a timer on your phone to remind you to drink water.
- Use an app to journal your water intake. Water Tracker is a good one.
Twenty percent of your water intake comes from food. Water-rich foods keep you hydrated and provide a variety of vitamins and minerals. They provide volume but deliver fewer calories. This means that you can eat more of these foods without greatly increasing your caloric intake. In addition, water-rich foods typically contain electrolytes, which help keep the body’s fluids balanced.
Fruits with a water content of 90 percent or higher include cantaloupe, grapefruit, strawberries, and watermelon.
Other fruits with high water content include cranberries, raspberries, pineapples, plums, oranges, pears, apples, and blueberries.
Vegetables also contain large quantities of water in proportion to their weight. Good options include cabbage, celery, cucumbers, peppers, spinach, all leafy greens, squash, and turnips.
If you don’t like to drink water or think it’s tasteless, you may find it helpful and refreshing to infuse your water with fruits, herbs, and spices. It’s not only beautiful but also delicious and full of nutrients. Also, it’s a way to trick yourself into upping your water intake. For the purpose of this plan we will stick with our therapeutic-infused waters, but after that feel free to infuse as you wish.
Choose organic when you can. Wash produce and rinse herbs in cool water to remove any dirt. Hot water makes produce fall apart faster and can compromise the nutrients you’re trying to coax out.
Use cold or room-temperature filtered water.
Glass pitchers or large jars work great. You can also use infusing pitchers and bottles, but this is not necessary. Spend on fresh organic produce instead.
- Softer fruits like citrus and strawberries can be sliced thick, thin, halved, or quartered. Harder fruits like apples should be sliced very thinly because they take longer to release flavors.
- Crush fibrous ginger root, rosemary, and lemongrass with a muddler or wooden spoon; tear or crush leafy herbs like mint, basil, and cilantro to release their oils.
- Loose herbs and flowers–lavender, rose petals, dried hibiscus–can be gathered in a tea infuser or small piece of cheesecloth.
Soak Time and Temperature
- Infuse water at room temperature for no more than two hours. After that, put it in the fridge to prevent bacterial growth.
- Cucumbers, citrus fruits, melons, and mint flavor water almost immediately. Apples, cinnamon, fresh ginger root, and rosemary need an overnight soak in the fridge.
- Melons and sliced strawberries start looking waterlogged after a few hours; citrus and whole berries look pretty good even after hours in the fridge.
- After four hours, unpeeled citrus can make water taste bitter. To make a big jug of infused water for a party, peel the citrus before soaking, or you can soak it unpeeled for four hours, remove it, and add fresh slices for looks. Make sure and keep infused water icy cold for food safety.
- If you don’t drink the water within 24 hours, strain out the solids and refrigerate for up to three days.
- To keep sipping all day long, refill your infused water container when it’s half full. It will be weaker than your first drink but still flavorful.