Your home means a lot to you and is one of the most valuable assets you have. There are simple ways you can preserve your home to ensure it stands the test of time. Money saving tips that allow your home to not only retain it’s value but to increase it also.
When your home is properly maintained, you prevent bacteria from festering within cracks or in the foundation. Planning out a strategy to do these essentials on a bi-annual basis will ensure safety, hygiene and the prevention of deterioration to your home. You can do the work yourself or get professionals that know the ins and outs of keeping your home maintained. For instance, the co-owner of a large cleaning company in Austin, TX stated recently “keeping your home clean can preserve the retail value of your appliances.” There are other service providers that specifically do exterior painting to prevent deterioration and clean gutters to prevent mold growth. Think of the maintenance of your home as the best investment you can make, ensuring minor problems are fixed so major issues don’t occur.
1. A Fresh Coat of Paint on the Exterior
For maximum curb appeal and protection of the exterior walls of your home, add a fresh coat of paint to the outside. You can change the whole look of your home by choosing the right tone and color. What was once dull can be transformed to a welcoming, warm home front. If you plan on selling your home, a fresh coat of paint on the outside of your house will add value and create more interest. Even if your home is aging, a new paint job will make it look much newer than it is. You also preserve your home because you protect the exterior walls from retaining water. When your exterior retains water, it can cause unhealthy molds to form.
2. Maintain Kitchen Appliances
For optimum performance of your kitchen appliances, it’s important to clean and maintain them every two months. This includes cleaning of refrigerator coils and changing the vent filter. Keeping drains free of build up is as simple as mixing vinegar, baking soda and hot water together and pouring down your drains. Some of the other projects might be a bit more challenging and if your time is limited, you may want to consider deep cleaning services. Maid services that offer a deep clean have trained cleaners that can maintain appliances effectively.
3. Protect Your Foundation
Did you know that planting anything within 8 inches of your home outside is asking for rot? The plants and soil will perpetuate constant moisture which will lead to serious rot within the foundation. A rotting foundation will wreak havoc on the health of your home and your family. It can crack or leak, allowing moisture into your home. On top of that, drywall can be affected and crack while windows and door stick to the frames. This creates gaps in your home that allow cold air in which is going to cost you in heating. To avoid this type of damage, prune bushes and shrubs that are close to your home. Another way to preserve your home is to not allow the soil around your house to dry out completely as it can shrink. When the next bout of rain comes, the soil then expands which puts considerable stress on your foundation. When you’re experiencing a long dry spell, occasionally run a soaker hose around the house to keep the soil from contracting.
To preserve your home and keep it safe for all that live in it, it’s important to regularly check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. A good rule of thumb for remembering to check is to do so when you change the clocks back and forward. Make sure to have your chimneys swept bi-annually, which is a service that might be best left to professionals. Air vent systems and kitchen vents should be thoroughly cleaned and when possible, you can vacuum vents. You’ll be preventing disaster like fires, carbon monoxide poisoning and maintaining a clean air environment within the home.
5. Keep Gutters Clean
Keeping your gutters clean is essential for the health of your home and your roof. Having to replace a roof before it’s expiry date is a huge financial loss and it’s simple to protect it. The ideal time to clean the gutters and clear your drains are in August, before the autumn as you need to make space for the falling leaves and debris from the windy season. You may want to have professionals do this work as they will also investigate the flashing which is the material that seals your chimney and joints to avoid leaking. If you’re feeling confident however, get up on the roof and power wash your gutters, drains and flashing.
Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.
Why is it important to train up our core strength?
There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.
This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.
Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.
In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.
One Exercise, multiple benefits
There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.
By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.
When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.
Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.
In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.
What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.
What will happen when you start doing planks every day
1. You’ll improve core definition and performance:
Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominus, the external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:
Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.
2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column
Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.
Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.
3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism
Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).
4. You’ll significantly improve your posture
Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .
A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.
A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.
On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.
5. You’ll improve overall balance
Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!- but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.
6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before
Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shoulders, shoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.
7. You’ll witness mental benefits
Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.
How to hold a plank position
Get into pushup position on the floor.
Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
Hold the position for as long as you can.
Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.
Watch the video if you have any doubt!
Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:
How to improve your plank time gradually
Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.
Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.
Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?
You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:
After prolapse surgery
Pelvic pain conditions
Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.