Cook Up Some Energy

Cook Up Some Energy

Turn meal making into an energy-boosting mini-workout — right in your kitchen

Plate-ates Strengthen your calves as you put the dishes away.

  1. As you reach for an overhead cupboard, rise up on your toes.
  2. Pull your belly in tight, and squeeze your butt and thigh muscles.
  3. Slowly lower onto your heels.
  4. Repeat … until all the dishes are put away or you’ve done 3 sets of 12.

Sink Extensions Tone your butt while doing dishes by hand.

  1. Stand facing the sink with your legs hip-width apart.
  2. Slowly lift one leg straight behind you. Tighten your butt and thigh muscles and suck in your gut.
  3. Count to 3 and slowly return your leg to the floor.
  4. Repeat with other leg.
  5. Do it again on each side ... till the dishwater goes cold or you’ve done 3 sets of 12.

Countertop Push Ups Strengthen your chest without worrying whether the floor is clean.

  1. Stand facing the kitchen counter with your legs hip-width apart.
  2. Place your hands on the edge of the counter in a comfortable V position.
  3. Bend arms at the elbows and lower chest to within a few inches of the counter.
  4. Push back to the starting position (don’t lock your elbows).
  5. Repeat for 3 sets of 12.

Towel Stretch Dry up back pain and improve your posture.

  1. Stand with your legs hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
  2. Hold a dishtowel on each end and pull to create tension in your arms.
  3. Squeeze in your stomach and (still pulling on the towel) raise your arms out in front of you then over your head.
  4. Stretch as high as you can toward the ceiling without lifting your feet off the floor.
  5. Bend to your right. Hold for 10 seconds.
  6. Repeat 12 times on each side.

Open Cupboard Can Lifts Strengthen your shoulders while deciding what to make for dinner.

  1. Grab two cans of equal weight, one in each hand.
  2. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and let your arms hang at your sides.
  3. Squeeze in your stomach and tighten you butt and thigh muscles.
  4. Inhale and raise your arms straight out to the side up to shoulder level. The backs of your hands should face the ceiling.
  5. Exhale as you lower your arms back to your sides.
  6. Repeat for 3 sets of 12.

Milk Carton Curls Build your biceps when putting the groceries into the fridge.

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Hold a container of milk or juice in each hand and let your arms hang at your side. (This works best with jugs that have a handle.)
  3. If you’re using open containers, make sure the lids are sealed tight.
  4. Squeeze your elbows into your side and don’t let them move.
  5. Slowly lift the containers up toward your shoulders. (If you only have one carton, do one arm at a time)
  6. Lower the containers back to the starting position.
  7. Repeat for 3 sets of 12 … or until your kids ask you if they can finally have some milk for their cereal.

Casse-Roll Reducer Trim your waist with a casserole dish.

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Hold the casserole dish in front of you with your arms bent at a 90-degree angle.
  3. Squeeze your elbows into your side and don’t let them move.
  4. Without moving your lower body, twist your waist so that you are facing to the right.
  5. Count to three and return to the center.
  6. Repeat to the left.
  7. Continue with 12 twists on each side.

Air Chair Strengthen your thighs and butt with a simple sitting motion.

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Slowly sit back as if you were going to sit down in a chair, keeping your butt out and your neck and chest up high.
  3. Extend your arms in front of you and squeeze in your stomach.
  4. Hold for 15 seconds and return to standing.
  5. Repeat 12 times.

Side Dish Kick Slim your outer thighs while waiting for the pasta to boil.

  1. Stand at the kitchen counter with your legs hip-width apart. You may want to hold lightly on the counter for balance (no leaning!).
  2. Slowly raise your left leg out to the side, keeping your toes, hips and shoulders facing the counter as you move.
  3. Squeeze in your stomach, thighs and butt.
  4. Hold for 3 seconds and lower your leg back to starting position
  5. Repeat on other side.
  6. Continue till you have completed 3 sets of 12 on each side or the pasta is done cooking.

Tummy Counter Tuck Belly up to the counter to slim your gut.

  1. Stand facing the counter with your legs hip-width apart.
  2. Bend both knees slightly.
  3. Lift one knee toward the ceiling until your foot is about six inches off the floor.
  4. Hold for 15 seconds then lower your leg.
  5. Repeat on the other side.
  6. Continue for 3 sets of 12 on each leg.

Adapted from Squeeze It In. See more at http://www.squeezeitin.com.

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