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Holiday fitness: Simple kitchen workouts

It can be hard to fit in exercise when you have so much cooking to do over the holidays. But your body doesn’t have to suffer just because you’re trying to cook up delicious goodies for your family and friends. With these kitchen workout tips, you can stay in shape while you cook!

woman exercising while she cooks

Wall squats while mixing

Rather than sitting in a chair while mixing something in a bowl, seat yourself on an imaginary chair. Begin with your back against the wall, and then slowly lower yourself until your thighs and calves form a 90-degree angle. Your lower back and upper back should remain in a straight line against the wall. Hold the bowl on your lap, and continue to stir. As a bonus, your burning legs will make you stir faster!

Cardio bursts on the spot

When you spend the whole day cooking, you’re bound to have stretches of time when you’re done one task and have to wait a little before you can start the next one. Though you can’t go for a run and leave the stove on, you can do short cardio bursts in and around the kitchen. Run in place with high knees, do jumping jacks, mime-skip — anything that gets your blood pumping and helps you break a sweat. Just keep in mind that kitchen floors can be slippery and that counters may have unsafe items on them, so be safe while you work out.

Calf raises around the room

Many of us spend our days sitting, so a day spent standing in the kitchen is a bit of a workout in itself. But to take it up a notch, do calf raises while standing whenever possible. Whether you’re reading through a recipe or looking for something in the cupboard, seize the opportunity to raise yourself onto the balls of chef hatyour feet. To do this, tighten all the muscles in your legs, and stretch your head toward the ceiling. Lower your heels until they hover a centimetre above the floor, and repeat. This can be done on both feet or with one foot lifted off the ground to increase the difficulty. You can also raise yourself onto the balls of your feet while going from place to place as you cook.

Countertop push-ups

Rather than waiting for something to finish thawing in the microwave or cooking on the stove, use the spare time to work on your arms. Use the edge of your countertop as a surface on which to do push-ups. Place your hands shoulder width apart on the edge of the counter, and step back into a plank position, your arms forming a 90-degree angle with the rest of your body. Do 15 push-ups in this position, then rest for a few seconds. Repeat until you have to get back to work — it’s a great toning exercise for your whole body. If you have more time and want to alternate push-ups with another exercise, do tricep dips on a kitchen chair. Simply sit on the edge of a chair with your hands at your sides, your legs stretched out in front of you and your feet on the floor. Bring your bum forward and off the chair, then lower your body toward the ground and then up again. This will work your triceps, but if it’s too hard for you, bend your knees and keep your feet flat on the floor.

More fitness tips

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Tips for running in the cold
Tighten those abs: Four exercises for your core

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