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I Did a Plank Every Day for 3 Months With My Husband—and It Helped More Than Just My Core

My daily planking habit had an improbable start: a tweet. The post is lost to the flow of the feed, but in my memory, it was simple—a woman sharing her trick of adding just five additional seconds to her plank time each week.

Easy, right?

I sit hunched over my desk all day, a vision of poor posture, so the idea of planking—developing my core strength, and, bonus, possibly preventing some of my persistent lower backache—is appealing. And when I mention the woman’s trick to my husband, Jason, he’s intrigued too.

We agree to try it out together. And really, what I thought would happen next is that we’d plank for a day or two. Maybe a week—maybe. But to my surprise, here we are, months later, casually asking each other every day: Hey, want to plank?

Here are seven things that I realized as Jason and I created and maintained this daily planking habit.

RELATED: This 30-Day Plank Challenge Will Transform Your Core in 4 Weeks

Want to succeed? Make it easy

This goal is almost comically achievable. Our first week, we plank for just 30 seconds a day. And that, I think, is part of the key to our success. When Jason asks if now is a good time to plank—even if my five-minute reminder about a meeting just flashed on my screen—there is indeed enough time. And keep in mind, planking is a zero-equipment move. All you need is a floor. I’ve planked in PJs, in tights, in office outfits, and most of all, in everyday jeans. No need for a costume change to plank it out.

Our planking routine is simple: At a random time we lie on the floor. One of us sets a timer for the week’s time (plus three seconds), hits “start," then does a 3-2-1 countdown. Each week, we add five seconds to our total daily plank time. (It's not always doable—more on that later.)

And grab an accountability buddy

Some days, it’s me that suggests planking. Far more often, it’s Jason. There’s no question in my mind that if planking were a solo operation, it would’ve fizzled out long ago. Like paying in advance for a yoga class or signing up for a 5K, an accountability buddy gives a nudge that encourages commitment.

RELATED: 8 Secrets of People Who Never Miss a Workout

Bring in a neutral party for form critique

The first time we plank, we lie parallel on the floor, staring at my iPhone screen. We watch three YouTube videos in a row, full of spandexed, confident instructors who share tips: Don’t hold your breath, keep your head in position, try these variations, and so on.

We’ve planked before, of course, but it’s been a while. My form is not perfect. But it turns out, getting that feedback from my husband only makes me cranky. He may well be right that my head is too far down or that my lower back has collapsed, but the comments make me uneasy and I rudely tell him to keep his eyes on his own planks. (Since Jason's an artist, accustomed to constructive critiques from peers and outsiders, he’s far more appreciative and open to feedback.)

Keep it going, even if you backslide

Once, during a trip to visit his family, Jason and I plank together over FaceTime. But we're not always that diligent. Sometimes we flat-out forget. We plateau for weeks at 50 seconds, then again at a minute. Each five-second increase gets more and more difficult. I wish our planking routine was flawless—I'd love to have a streak sans interruptions. That's not the case, but I figure, better to have planked for the majority of days in the past three months than none of 'em.

RELATED: 6 Tips for Working Out With Your Partner

Of course, the cat gets involved

Do you have a cat? Have you met one? Then you won’t be surprised that our cat, Cashew, is a frequent participant in our daily planking. At first, she’s confused why we’re on her level—the floor's her zone, not ours. Then she seems certain it’s a new game: She runs under our held-up bellies as if we’re playing limbo. It makes me giggle (an extra workout).

Once we hit 50 seconds, planking is particularly challenging, and Jason gets in the habit of calling her over midway through the session for a fuzzy distraction. We’re months in now, so Cashew’s less intrigued—and sometimes snoozes through our plank time—but often, she’s an active participant, winding her way under and around us.

There's a side benefit to our relationship

Planking with Jason makes me feel close to him. It’s the most manageable of projects—easier than hunting for a new apartment, caring for our cat, dealing with work issues, illness, family drama, or so many other things we’ve done through the years. But it is still something that just the two of us are doing, and doing together.

Also: Sometimes at the end of our planking, it’s conversation time. Most are small-scale. (As in, “Wow, have you noticed how dusty it is under the TV stand??”) Sometimes though, we talk through weekend plans or even bigger topics. It’s nice, even if it sometimes means the planking portion of the day sometimes stretches beyond the ding of the timer.

RELATED: This 10-Minute Resistance Band Ab Workout Will Work Your Entire Core

I feel ready for more

Most days, when the timer goes off, I collapse downward immediately. Lately though, I've been trying to hold the position just one more second, or swooping into downward facing dog. I've resurrected my seven-minute workout app on my phone, have big plans for my warm-weather jogging, and am pondering the best time to sign up for a swim class.

Having this just-over-a-minute plank in my day makes me think more about fitness and what bigger, more challenging goals I'd like to go after next. And even if there is no noticeable difference to my abs, I feel stronger, more capable, and just a smidge more fit.

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News24.com | Friends mourn cyclist who was killed in hit-and-run on Good Friday

Friends and family of cyclist Andrew Randall have taken to social media to voice their shock and grief after he was killed when a Toyota Tazz crashed into a group of 10 cyclists on the R55 near Centurion at about 06:00 on Friday.

Randall was killed and two other cyclists injured.

The driver of the Tazz is on the run after fleeing the accident scene in Centurion. 

Tshwane metro police spokesperson, Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba, told News24 the Toyota Tazz crashed into 10 cyclists on the R55 at about 06:00 on Friday.

READ: PIC: Driver flees after crashing into 10 cyclists, killing one

The deceased cyclist was identified as Randall by Netwerk24


Friends said that Randall’s death came “too soon” and offered their condolences to his wife and family. 

“I am just lost for words! I can’t believe it, we send lots of love to the Randall family!! RIP Andrew Randall and thank you for all you have done to progress my cycling. You will truly be missed by many!” Dominique Janssen wrote on Randall’s Facebook page. 

Ashleigh Rodda wrote: “[I] can’t believe you are gone Andrew, but glad that we got to see you at last weekend’s cycle race, doing what you love. Our deepest sympathy and prayers go out to Tracy and the kids. I pray and trust God will hold your family and friends near to Him and comfort you all during this difficult time.”

Randall, 45, is a salesman from Pretoria and the father of two children, Netwerk24 reported.  

By Friday afternoon, the driver had not yet been caught. 

“The driver ran away [from] the accident scene,” Mahamba told News24.

“Because [we know his identity], we request he hand himself over to the police so that a statement can be obtained to establish what happened.”

Senior Store Leader / Manager – Cape Town

Senior Store Leader / Manager – Cape Town in Western Cape | Retail Wholesale | Job Mail | 4410865

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  • Ad Placed : 19 Apr 2019 18:02:10 Affiliate ad
  • Remuneration : PER MONTH
  • Employment Type : Full Time
  • Industry :
  • Retail
    Retail Wholesale
  • Region : Western Cape
  • Company : MPRTC Recruitment


Please Note:

If you do not fit the specification with the minimum requirements your application will not be accepted for this position. Shortlisted candidates may be required to complete an Assessment or Test to demonstrate your knowledge of this position.


  • Matric/ Grade 12 certificate
  • Must be computer Literate (experience on a point of sale system)
  • Excellent leadership skills and ability to develop and motivate staff
  • Excellent customer relations skills
  • The ability to manage, train and develop staff
  • The ability to apply company policies and principles strictly and consistently
  • Controlling the expenses of the branch
  • Understanding stock control to ensure stock levels are always on the correct levels and allocated correctly and minimize stock losses
  • Excellent administrative skills
  • Customer service orientated

Applicants must reside in Cape Town or surrounding area.

Only South African citizens, who are suitably qualified, live in the applicable area and meet the requirements of the position are eligible to apply for this vacancy.

Please take note: if you have not been contacted within 14 days, please consider your application unsuccessful.


Visit our website to view all of our current vacancies: www.mprtc.co.za

Get Alerts

To apply for this vacancy please access this job advert on a desktop computer.

Apply for other Jobs on Job Mail.

External Sales Representative (fintech) (durban)


Please Note:

If you do not fit the specification with the minimum requirements your application will not be accepted for this position. Shortlisted candidates may be required to complete an Assessment or Test to demonstrate your knowledge of this position.


  • Have a passion for sales and customer satisfaction
  • Hunter mindset is key
  • We look for candidates who put the customer at the heart of everything they do
  • Clients of an SMME nature are preferred
  • Team-players are welcome
  • Valid Driver’s License & Own Reliable Vehicle
  • Minimum of Matric or Equivalent


Applicants must reside in DURBAN or surrounding area.

Only South African citizens, who are suitably qualified, live in the applicable area and meet the requirements of the position are eligible to apply for this vacancy.

Please take note: if you have not been contacted within 14 days, please consider your application unsuccessful.


Visit our website to view all of our current vacancies: www.mprtc.co.za

Sport24.co.za | Reds punish woeful Sharks

Durban – The Reds added to the Sharks’ woes when they won their Super Rugby encounter at Kings Park on Friday.

As it happened: Sharks v Reds

The men from Brisbane won 21-14, after leading 14-7 at half-time.

It was the Sharks’ fifth defeat of the season in nine games.

Bryce Hegarty, Chris Feauai-Sautia and Tate McDermott’s tries saw the visitors to victory, as the Sharks missed a chance to go top in the South African conference. Their tries came via Kerron van Vuuren and Daniel du Preez as the hosts struggled for any real fluidity and made numerous errors both in attack and defence.

The Reds went into the interval leading 14-7 thanks to Hegarty and Feauai-Sautia’s tries, with Van Vuuren hitting back for the home team.

Brad Thorn’s side didn’t take long to hit the ground running as on three minutes a line break from hooker Alex Mafi led to quick recycled ball and Hegarty then spotted a hole and backed himself from 20 metres out for the opener. He slotted the simple conversion for a 7-0 lead.

The Sharks had chances to chip away at that buffer but instead opted for the corner, which did not result in points as the contest wore on.

It backfired too as the Reds soon doubled their lead on 20 minutes, captain Samu Kerevi’s bust then seeing him offload to Feauai-Sautia for a try.

Fortunately for the Sharks they did respond before half-time as a lineout drive saw Van Vuuren get over and while they had further chances which weren’t taken late on in the half, the hosts would still have fancied their chances of turning things around in front of their Durban fans.

It had looked as though neither side would trouble the scoreboard in the opening 20 minutes of the second period in an error-strewn spell, but the Reds then finally clicked with offloads aplenty down the right seeing Hegarty and Scott Higginbotham combine to put scrumhalf McDermott away.

That converted try moved the Reds into a 21-7 lead and with the Sharks making error after error in attack, it seemed an away win was likely.

So it proved as despite a late try from Sharks No 8 Du Preez off the base of a scrum, the Reds would hold on for a rare win in Durban.

In next weekend’s action, the Sharks take on the Waratahs in Sydney (Saturday, April 27), while the Reds will enjoy a bye.



Tries: Kerron van Vuuren, Daniel du Preez

Conversions: Robert du Preez, Curwin Bosch


Tries: Bryce Hegarty, Chris Feauai-Sautia, Tate McDermott

Conversions: Bryce Hegarty (2), Hamish Stewart



15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Kobus van Wyk, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder (captain), 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Beast Mtawarira 

Substitutes: 16 Fez Mbatha, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Tyler Paul, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Aphelele Fassi


15 Hamish Stewart, 14 Sefa Naivalu , 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12 Samu Kerevi (captain), 11 Jack Hardy, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Liam Wright, 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Alex Mafi, 1 Harry Hoopert

Substitutes: 16 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 17 JP Smith, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Harry Hockings, 20 Adam Korczyk, 21 Moses Sorovi, 22 Duncan Paia’aua, 23 Jock Campbell

News24.com | 3 caught after shootout following attempted heist at Eastgate Mall

A high-speed chase and shootout between police and alleged would-be robbers on Friday ended in the Eastgate Shopping Centre in Gauteng parking lot where three suspects were arrested and two unlicensed guns were recovered.

SAPS spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubele said members of its Flying Squad spotted a Ford Fiesta in Bedfordview which was flagged as being involved in a botched robbery at the mall.

The suspects had driven off after security guards had thwarted their attempt to hold up a shop, he explained.

Officers chased after the car after spotting it on Van Buuren Road and gave chase. A shootout ensued.

“The suspects drove into the shopping centre parking lot while trying to confuse the police. They parked the car and ran, but were cornered and caught by the officers on foot.”

The trio is expected in the Germiston Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

Health24.com | Why more patients are surviving an aneurysm

New treatments mean aneurysms are no longer an automatic death sentence, specialists say.

Aneurysms are a weakening or bulging of blood vessels that can rupture and become life-threatening. They can occur anywhere in the body, but are most common in the brain, or in the main blood vessels that lead to the heart, legs and arms.

Fixing problem from inside

Aneurysms used to carry a high probability of death, but many can now be treated before they pose a serious threat.

“If detected early, there are new interventions like a minimally invasive catheter-based procedure to treat the condition,” said Dr Ali Azizzadeh. He is director of vascular surgery at Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Doctors used to have to fix a blood vessel by hand, which meant open surgery and the risks that go along with it. “Today, we can fix the problem from the inside, without always having to open up the patient,” Azizzadeh said in a hospital news release.

Roxanne Hanks, 61, of Simi Valley, California, is living proof of that progress.

“I was healthy, I exercised and still worked full-time,” she said in the release. “But I often felt lightheaded and short of breath from minor exertion, like walking a flight of stairs. I was insistent that my doctors keep searching for the answer.”

After months of tests and doctor visits, she was diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm and sought treatment at Smidt Heart Institute.

Early detection key

Hanks’ case was complex. First, she needed open heart surgery to repair the front part of her aorta. Two months later, she had her final, minimally invasive surgery.

Hanks said she is “back to work, back to exercising and living a fulfilling, great life.”

Early detection is key to successful treatment of an aneurysm, Azizzadeh said. If you have unexplained pain, coupled with any risk factor, it’s important to talk to your doctor and mention aneurysms, he advised.

Risk factors include family history, smoking, high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol. Some aneurysms can cause pain, but most cause no symptoms.

Thoracic (chest-area) aortic aneurysms affect about 15 000 Americans each year and are the 13th leading cause of death, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

“Listen to your body,” Hanks said. “I knew something was wrong, but I kept searching and ultimately ended up with the best doctors and care team who saved my life.”

Image credit: iStock


18 April 2019 – Customs continues to increase the number of busts year on year: Goods valued at R3.7 billion bust by Customs in the past financial year

Pretoria, 18 April 2019 – The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has released its latest consolidated Customs busts statistics from 01 April 2018 to 31 March 2019. The total value of all goods confiscated amounted to R3 694 742 928.

Some of the statistics include:

  • Narcotics: 892 busts valued at R535 132 535
  • Cigarettes: 220 busts valued at R50 252 520
  • CITES (including endangered species such as abalone): 43 busts valued at R 42 224 372
  • Currency: 14 busts valued at R64 986 630
  • Viagra / Viagra Generics: 170 busts valued at R69 280 100
  • Counterfeit clothing, footwear and other goods:  1 526 busts valued at R2 710 118 775
  • Clothing and Textiles (second hand and other infringements):  407 busts valued at R7 988 166
  • Alcohol: 298 busts valued at R18 430 752  

Compared with the same period during the previous financial year (April 2017 to March 2018), the number of busts has increased to 6 828 from 4 840, and the value of the busts has increased to R3 694 742 928 from R2 461 425 369.

“Acting Chief Officer: Beyers Theron continues to commend Customs officers for ensuring that South Africa’s ports of entry remain closed to illicit goods. Also travellers, particularly in this time period, are encouraged to familiarise themselves by visiting www.sars.gov.za with what goods are allowed or not so as to ease their travel into and out of the country.”

  • Some of the high-profile busts which took place during the last year include the following:
  • Cannabis Oil, with an estimated value of R300 000 000, en route from Canada to South Africa, was seized at Durban Harbour on 07 January 2019.
  • Acetanthranil (mandrax precursor), with an estimated value of R45 000 000, en route from Hong Kong to South Africa, was seized at OR Tambo International Airport on 17 December 2018
  • Acetanthranil (mandrax precursor), with an estimated value of R43 000 000, en route from Hong Kong to South Africa, was seized at OR Tambo International Airport on 17 December 2018
  • Sexual Enhancement Tablets (Generic Viagra) valued at R30 000 000, en route from India to South Africa, were seized at OR Tambo International Airport on 13 May 2018
  • Sexual Enhancement Tablets (Generic Viagra) valued at R24 192 000, en route from India to South Africa, were seized at OR Tambo International Airport on 13 December 2018
  • Sexual Enhancement Tablets (Generic Viagra) valued at R4 400 000, en route from Hong Kong to South Africa, were seized at OR Tambo International Airport on 30 December 2018
  • Shark Fins, with an estimated value of R7 200 000, en route from Brazil via South Africa to Hong Kong, was seized at OR Tambo International Airport on 04 March 2019
  • Abalone, with an estimated value of R8 960 000, en route from Cape Town to Johannesburg, was seized at City Deep on 15 February 2019
  • Rhino Horn, with an estimated value of R23 200 000, en route from South Africa to Dubai, was seized at OR Tambo International Airport on 09 January 2019
  • Currency (USD) equivalent to R9 460 500, en route from South Africa to Hong Kong, was seized at OR Tambo International Airport on 11 September 2018
  • Currency (USD) equivalent to R13 798 882, en route from South Africa to Dubai, was seized at OR Tambo International Airport on 25 February 2019
  • Currency (USD) equivalent to R14 298 360, en route from Angola via South Africa and Dubai to China, was seized at OR Tambo International Airport on 30 December 2018
  • 1 766 200 Cigarettes were seized at Beit Bridge Border Post on 17 April 2018
  • 2 869 480 Cigarettes were seized at Beit Bridge Border Post on 27  March 2019
  • 5 012 040 Cigarettes were seized at Beit Bridge Border Post on 24 November 2018

General Worker / Forklift Driver

Our manufacturing client are looking for a General Worker / Forklift Driver for an immediate start. Duties: To provide a safe, clean and efficient warehouse environment for all staff and visitors. Attend to inwards and outwards goods, checking details are correct with paperwork. Keep checks of stock levels and learning our in-house ordering processes. Assist in the development of new procedures and improvements to ensure efficient processes. Take charge of scheduled maintenance and service of equipment. Skills Required: Excellent verbal, written and problem solving skills. A good work ethic and a willingness to work closely with our team and autonomously. A pleasant and polite communication manner. Hold a current Forklift and Drivers License. An eye for detail and a “Can Do” attitude. A background in manufacturing would be an advantage. R 8500 per month For immediate consideration, Please apply online at www.zarecruit.co.za or fax 0865742107