My colleague does planks. I’ve heard them talk about it many times… how they do a 2-minute plank every single day. I’m a fairly active person. Two minutes seemed more than manageable. Finally, after a conversation with another colleague about the two minute daily planks, I hung up the Teams call and got onto my forearms.
Reader, two minutes is longer than it seems. My timer went off and I belly flopped onto the floor. I jumped back to my computer and reported to my colleague. Check and check. Before the half hour had passed I could hardly remember or feel that I’d done anything. I made a mental note to keep it up.
Each day since August 10, I’ve done a two minute forearm plank. Here’s what I’ve learned:
You almost always have two minutes. I was traveling recently for my brother’s wedding and even in the midst of arranging flowers and getting hair done, I still managed to hit the wooden floors of the farmhouse Airbnb we called our temporary home. Even without special events life gets busy—like the night at 11:00 when, in the middle of a conversation, I gasped and said “I need to plank!” So I did. You almost always have two minutes.
Two minutes is sustainable. I was talking to someone about this and they said I could go on to do three or four or five minutes. I was curious, momentarily. What would my maxout time be on forearm planks? But that’s not the point for me. The point is a simple exercise I can do sustainably and well each day. A two minute plank feels like a great mini exercise, but doesn’t leave me totally exhausted and unable to maintain my usual workout routines.
Music makes everything better. Right before I start my timer, I turn on some sort of upbeat, happy, loud song that can drown out the sounds of deep breathing. Which brings me to another point: breathe, breathe, breathe. Everything gets easier when I remind myself to take a conscious breath.
And finally, our bodies are incredible. The planks are getting easier. Some days are still harder than others—pending when I do them and what other physical activity I have done that day. But in general, I can feel my body getting stronger. I can feel my mind getting stronger as well.
If you’re able, I encourage you to find something active you can do for two minutes today… something that doesn’t require special equipment or a certain outfit or a specific location… something you can do for two minutes each day on repeat. Watch how it challenges you, molds you, and inspires you to do more. Bonus points if whatever you choose feels like play.
Here’s the best part. I wouldn’t have considered a forearm plank to be “fun.” But having my calendar marked with 22 “Ps” feels really fun. And taking two minutes out of my day (okay, three minutes if you count the minute I spend lying on my back catching my breath) to do something intentional for my health has become a playful and joyful activity. What can you start today that will do the same for you?