It was all the hype some time ago, when I was more active than I am now. I ran, well walked and jogged actually, two 10k races in Glasgow, Scotland twice a year to push myself and become stronger physically. So planking was easy for me back then.

Now it feels more of a challenge due to my giving up running after I tore ligaments on my left ankle after a nasty fall on an extremely hot day in June 2013. Then I got whiplash pain from a minor car accident and still in recovery almost two years later.

So I am practicing yoga daily at home as well as doing my physiotherapy exercises to help me recover from my ongoing whiplash pain. Yes I know, I am falling apart!

Some days I feel like I am being run over by a bus with all the pain I feel on my left ankle, shoulders, neck and recently my upper left arm. On other days I feel I can soar!

I made new goals for this new year to become more active and handle my seasonal affective disorder better than I ever had so I have been doing my best by “eating my frogs” after I read Brain Tracy’s book “Eat That Frog” earlier this month.

So planking became one of my “frogs” to eat! It was difficult as all things are at the beginning! Yet “nothing of great value is easy” as I learned from my mentor Jim Rohn.

Maintaining my strong mental power is vital for me in order to stay healthy, strong and resilient due to my depression (diagnosed in October 2008) and seasonal affective disorder which I have had since my early teenage years. Therefore exercising on a daily basis has become routine for me to remain fit and healthy.

I just accomplished three minutes and fifty seconds last night on the plank whilst watching The Ellen Show on YouTube from my iPad! Yes, I love to kill two birds with one stone even when I am exercising!

Ouch!  That burning feeling on my back and tummy is an additive kind of pain! Anyone who is into working out and exercising knows about this all too well!

Planking was more of a challenge for me back in 2014 after I got whiplash.  I would get pain in my shoulders, neck and upper arms from planking during those early days of recovery.  Yet I persisted after I felt a bit better and planked again. Then I would get more pain. Then I would stop to recover.

It has been a journey of self discovery and learning about how to handle my whiplash pain. I learned from constant trips to see my physiotherapist that doing my physiotherapy exercises daily was imperative to my recovery. So my lack of knowledge and experience in this area held me back from a quicker recovery.

For those who are not into working out and exercising, I strongly recommend that you do! Why?  We all know why we are more fit and healthy when we exercise. Yet for me, from my experiences with fitness, leading an active lifestyle and exercising, it is about maintaining a healthy mental state.

My life has been so much happier since I began running, practicing yoga, planking, doing squats, walking and spending time outdoors as much as possible. I noticed my moods are lighter and I can better handle my negative emotions. My mental health is in better shape since I began to exercise, practicing yoga, planking, squatting and spending more time outdoors.

As for planking, I have noticed my lower back is becoming stronger, I immediately notice when I am slouching, I feel the muscles in my tummy beginning to tighten, my perky bum feels firmer and I feel happier from within.

That is all from investing less than five minutes three times a week to do something that shall benefit more than one part of my body!

So I am definitely continuing with feeling that burn in my lower back and tummy! Why not?

Working out makes me feel strong and energized every time. It’s my therapy for my mind and body. By Stacy Keibler