Burn More Calories In The Kitchen
Exercising isn’t something you do only at the gym. You can turn almost any activity into “stealth exercise” by increasing the intensity with which you do it. Even cooking a meal and cleaning up afterwards can be a calorie-burner.
For example, did you know you burn over 3 calories for every minute you spend working in the kitchen, and you can blast away even more by picking up the pace? If you’re trying to get fit, there are ways to turn your time in the kitchen into a calorie-burning marathon. Here are tips for burning more calories while cooking a meal or cleaning the kitchen.
Get Ready to Burn Calories
Wiping down the surfaces of counters burns more than 200 calories an hour if you do it with enthusiasm. Before preparing a meal, grab a sponge, and give the counters a thorough scrubbing. Move your arms vigorously as you do. For inspiration, turn on some fast-paced music.
Now, get out the pots and pans. Before placing them on the stove top or in the oven, hold one in each hand and do a set of arm raises.
Skip the kitchen gadgets.
If you’re making mashed potatoes, mash them by hand. If you’re baking cookies, put away the mixer, and stir the dough the old-fashioned way, using muscle power.
For more calorie-burning points, bake bread from scratch. Not only will it taste better, but kneading the dough is a real calorie burner. Prepare vegetables fresh rather than using canned or frozen. You’ll burn more calories washing and chopping them then you will shaking them out of a bag.
Make the Kitchen Your Gym
While you’re waiting for water to boil, do a quick set of jumping jacks and deep knee bends. Don’t worry, no one will see you. They’ll just wonder why you’re looking more toned recently. You can even do modified push-ups by placing your hands on the edge of the kitchen counter and moving your upper body up and down.
Pick up the pace as you move through the kitchen taking things out of the refrigerator and putting things away. If you’re waiting for something to boil or set, turn up the music and dance while you wait. Use your downtime in the kitchen as an opportunity to move around.
One of the easiest ways to add some cardio to your cooking is to download a few dozen of your favorite motivating songs to the ipod or keep a CD player or radio in the kitchen. Music can be a great motivator to dance while you cook.
Slow ballads are a great start to a warm up, while favorite fast-dance tunes will make you want to do your favorite Lady Gaga routine while the pasta boils.
Clear some space in your kitchen, turn up the music and dance while you cook.
Dancing is one of the easiest and most individual forms of exercise and it can help burn off those stubborn pounds while you bake.
Countertop Push Ups
Even the most out of shape cook can benefit from adding some countertop push ups to their daily routine. Whether you set a goal for doing as few as five everyday or work towards a more aggressive push up count, countertop push ups can be done anytime you are in the kitchen.
The first step is to position yourself about two feet from the countertop, with feet together. Extend your arms until they touch the edge of the kitchen countertop and slowly lean in. Once your chin is just above the countertop, use your arms to lift back up and repeat.
Stretch and Tone
The best way to stretch and tone in the kitchen is to make it a warm up exercise everytime you enter the kitchen to cook dinner. Start with basic warm up stretching moves like touching your toes a few times, reaching above your head, leaning sideways, and some basic head rolls.
Calf lifts can be done while you start dinner by simply lifting your heels off the floor, balancing on the ball of your feet. This simple move will help to tone and stretch your calves.
Set a goal for at least 10 in a row to start and add more as your legs begin to feel more toned.
Who would have thought that you could get some exercise done while loading and unloading the dishwasher? Dishwasher squats can be added by adding a squat for every item you load or unload from the dishwasher. When you reach for an item to unload, add a squat, slowly standing back up each time. It may take longer to load or unload the dishwasher but adding some basic squats can help tone.
Cleaning While You Cook Exercises
When the dinner is well started and you have some wait time, consider doing a few cleaning chores in the kitchen. Wiping down countertops, cleaning windows, wiping down the refrigerator, or organizing the cupboards can all be simple ways to add some exercise while you wait for dinner to cook.
For longer cooking times, you might consider pulling out the mop and bucket and washing the floor, or even doing a hand wash to get the kitchen floor extra clean.
All of these simple kitchen cleaning exercises can add up to better fitness, especially for those who are not used to more advanced exercises.
The Calorie-Burning Clean-Up
The clean-up after a meal gives you another chance to burn more calories. Pick up the pace as you put things back in the refrigerator and clear off the counters. Skip the dishwasher, and scrub the dishes by hand. Dishwashing burns 160 calories per hour.
Clean off the counters again to burn even more calories. While you’re at it, give the floors a scrub. If you do it on your hands and knees, you’ll burn a whopping 258 calories per hour. Those calories add up, and you get the reward of having a cleaner floor.
Don’t forget to take out the trash, but before you do, hold the trash can in each hand and raise it above your head as many times as you can. The heavier the can, the more you’ll tone your muscles and burn calories. If you have time, wash the windows in the kitchen, window washing burns around 250 calories per hour.
One of the best ways to workout for many people is to add some exercise to their day by making it an effortless part of their everyday routine. The kitchen can be one of the best places to add some basic exercise moves while cooking.
Even the most unmotivated person can add some fun and exercise to their time by adding a few of these moves while they bake, boil, and sautee.
About Lynne Jaques
Lynne is a stay-at-home mother of two boys. As a former US military officer and the spouse of an active duty US military member, Lynne enjoys traveling the world (although not the moving part!) and finding new cuisine and methods of preparing food. She also has the habit of using parenthesis way too much!