Core exercises tend to be the ones most people skip, even though the media is all about having a beach-ready body. We skip them because they’re hard, repetitive, and it’s often difficult to see any kind of visual benefit — six-pack abs don’t just happen overnight.
But there are four really good reasons you should be doing core exercises every day, and not even one of them is about looking good in a bathing suit.
A strong core stabilizes your lower back.
Most people don’t realize just how important a strong lower back is. When these muscles are weak and underused, other body parts — like knees and hips — take the brunt of bending, standing, and carrying. This is why many people develop knee and hip issues as they age, as well as constant back pain. Strengthening your core will keep your back strong and healthy, and will allow it to do the heavy lifting (which it was designed to do)!
Improves balance, coordination and heart health.
Core exercises stimulate the cerebellum in the brain, which links to body parts for coordination, spatial awareness, and balance. Not only are you improving your balance by strengthening your abs and your lower back (ever notice how holding in your stomach helps with stability?), you’re also teaching your brain to become more aware.
A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that a strong core helped runners increase their speed, as well as made breathing easier when they were in high-exertion mode.
Age gracefully by being fit.
When your back, hamstrings, glutes and core are strong, your posture magically improves, which makes you look thinner! Good posture will also help to keep your entire body better aligned, which means less muscle and nerve pain as you age.
Tacking on five minutes of core exercises to your daily routine may not give you abs of steel, but it will help those daily aches and pains. And being pain-free is sometimes even more rewarding than looking perfect without a shirt.
Consider an app like CraveMate to help you mindfully manage and achieve your health, wellness and fitness goals!