This is why a 62-year-old former Marine planked for more than 8 hours

This is why a 62-year-old former Marine planked for more than 8 hours

Last week, former Marine George Hood claimed the Guinness World Record for the longest-held plank position. The 62-year-old held the plank position for a jaw-dropping 8 hours, 15 minutes and 15 seconds.

Hood prepared for this moment with intense training regiments, spending approximately 2,100 hours in total practicing holding the plank position just to prepare for this most recent event. While the training and world record is itself a feat, he wanted to shine a spotlight on how exercise can improve your mental health.

“Exercise is absolutely a powerful tool in helping manage mental health,” says Sue Parcell, a licensed clinical professional counselor at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. “Of course, regular exercise improves bodily health and function, but research shows it can also help with sleep quality, mood and stress levels, memory, overall energy and mental stamina.”

Mental health has been a prominent public health focus in the media, with more celebrity figures coming forward to talk openly about their own struggles. Parcell says it’s important to raise awareness on the importance of mental health so people don’t feel they have to ignore or deal with issues on their own.

In addition to regular exercise or seeing a licensed behavioral health therapist, Parcell suggests having an outlet to manage stress and anxiety is critically important.

“Whether it’s planking or some other form of exercise, volunteering, creating art or simply spending time outdoors with loved ones, find an outlet that allows you to practice mindfulness and work through any negative feelings you may be feeling,” Parcell says.

Do you need help? Find a doctor in Illinois. Or find one in Wisconsin.

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About the Author

Jaimie Oh
Jaimie Oh

Jaimie Oh, health enews contributor, is regional manager of public affairs and marketing at Advocate Health Care. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and has nearly a decade of experience working in publishing, strategic communications and marketing. Outside of work, Jaimie trains for marathons with the goal of running 50 races before she turns 50 years old.