Keep Fit While Cooking
7 Quick Kitchen Workout Ideas
A few years ago, spicing up the dull rhythm of kitchen work with some spectacular pushups and stretches would have sounded like the height of lunacy. Today, however, ingenious women and chefs can and will master the art of converting various everyday items and activities including kitchen tools and every free cooking space into some great training ideas without compromising on the quality of meals, or the family’s meal schedules. There is nearly a limitless number of items in the kitchen including cupboards and blenders to help any creative cook in keeping pace with their New Year’s fitness goals. Here are some options:
1. Counter Top Pushups
Looking at the kitchen counter with a gymnast’s eye should help you to imagine its alternative value in enhancing your triceps and chest. The counter can serve as supportive equipment for pushups. Simply move your feet slightly away from the counter while your hands are firmly placed on its edges for support. Lower your chest slowly towards the counter in a push-up motion and push back in slow regular rhythms. The counter should be dry first and cleared of clutter. This exercise could be repeated as you wait for meals to simmer, boil, or after accomplishing a chopping task.
2. Three Minutes Speed Break After Chopping Veggies
There is no hard science in doing a short speed break after long minutes of standing. Preparing multiple veggies for a large family meal might require long minutes of standing. Many cooks and chefs complain of numbness in their feet after such tasks. A speed break is basically like running in place, placing one foot forward and one a little further back before you begin shuffling them quickly back and forth in a steady motion kind of like an athlete who is readying for a race. Your hands can also be incorporated into a patterned back and forth motion to spread the movement wealth. This practice invigorates the legs and arms and gets your heart rate up for a quick bout of cardio between kitchen tasks.
3. Counter to Trash Squats
There is so much garbage to be tossed out as you prepare meals in the kitchen. You have to dispose egg shells, vegetable remains, and wrappings. Space out your trash trips and do a “step and squat” on your way to the trash for the benefit of your hips, thighs and legs. You could even switch these up to walking lunges instead. Why not develop muscle mass while you cook?
4. Rolling Pin Stretch
This exercise is simple, but can be hard to picture because it entails moving a foot or so away from the counter so that as you move the rolling pin away from you on the counter top your body stretches out and your torso becomes a 90 degree angle. Once you are fully stretched out and some tightness is felt in the legs, slowly roll back the pin keeping your back straight. Women who use this exercise regularly in the kitchen are toning their inner thighs and strong hamstrings. You can also do this by placing a towel on the counter and use bare hands to slide forward and back on the counter, but it’s so much more interesting using a rolling pin.
5. Blender Leg Lift
The blender leg lift is a highly effective exercise for enhancing the firmness of the derriere and the legs. As you hold the blender cover, raise your leg so your thigh is parallel to the ground and knee is bent at 90-degrees or slightly higher. Squeeze your glutes and hold the position for 30 seconds before switching legs. To step this game up, add some ankle weights to the mix, while you mix. This kitchen exercise is a great step towards a tighter bottom.
6. Grocery Bag Dumbbells
You can still do high quality back rows in the comfort of your home without a back row machine. In fact, you can do any dumbbell workout even in the absence of dumbbells, some heavy grocery bags can serve the task.
7. Tip toe toss
Tossing a salad, chopping veggies, sautéing vegetables, or even mixing ingredients in a bowl can all be done while strengthening your legs. Tighten and tone during any of these kitchen activities by pushing up into a tip toe (like being a ballerina again) and contracting your leg and glute muscles. Hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds before placing yourself back onto flat feet. Rest and then do it again. You will feel it in your legs fairly early on.
The theme here is making the most of your time. Do some easy, brainless cardio while you wait (jumping jacks, running in place, or for even more fun get a hoop or skipfit) for water to boil, items to simmer, or for meat to rest before serving. Or try any of the exercises above while in your kitchen to get in some fitness while still completing your kitchen prep and meal responsibilities!