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Quick & Easy Exercises While Cooking

Don’t have time to go to the gym today? A large part of “getting in shape” has to do with your mental attitude towards working out and eating healthy.

While you’re cooking a delicious and healthy meal, you can also work on your physical body and muscle memory by doing some exercising in your kitchen!

By including the below activities into your daily life, you’re training yourself to enjoy moving your body and doing good things for yourself. Eventually your body will begin to crave movement and physical activity, and it will make working out at the gym seem more fun and less of a burden.

Try these quick and easy exercises that you can do around your kitchen while cooking:
Bicep curls with cans of soup or veggies (about 2 lbs) or water bottles (about 1 lb). Hug elbows in to sides, with arms long at your sides. Slowly curl your arms up, bending at the elbow, and then lower arms back down.

Tricep extensions with a gallon of milk or juice. Hug elbows in to sides, with arms long at your sides. Bend slightly, then reach your arm back, straightening your arm. Keep your elbows hugging in to your sides as you extend your arm back to fire up the tricep muscles right above your elbows.

Squats while holding a larger item – watermelon, pineapple, gallon of milk – and twisting side to side working your abs!

Calf raises while microwaving food – come up onto your tip toes (up then down) while you’re waiting for food to heat up.

Side leg raises while cooking pasta – standing with feet hips width apart, continue stirring pasta while lifting one leg out to the side, then tapping your toe back down (keep leg straight).

Forward fold while waiting for water to boil – take a moment to bend forward and let your arms and head completely relax and hang. This is a nice stretch for the hamstrings and allows you to relax for a moment and take any tension off the back or your arms!

Hamstring stretch while you’re waiting for the oven to preheat – place your right foot a few feet in front of your left foot. Square your hips to the oven, and slowly fold forward, hinging at your hips. Hold on to the oven handle or the countertop in front of you and allow your head and neck to dangle while stretching the backs of your legs (hamstrings).

As you can see, these everyday activities are so easy and simple. While they are not going to largely increase your muscle mass or help you drop a lot of pounds, they are at least getting your brain re-wired to start to crave exercise and physical movement so that when it is time to do a big workout at the gym, you’re not dreading it.

Instead of standing around or feeling guilty for not working out, do something about it immediately and start moving your body and engaging your muscles any way you can. Through daily, baby steps, you will retrain your body to crave exercise and crave feeling good!

Stephanie Mansour is a Health & Fitness Expert and Body Image & Confidence Coach. Her business, Step It Up with Steph, can be found at http://stepitupwithsteph.com/

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