Sarah has her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Denver and is also a Certified Personal Trainer. She has been a Health Coach and Behavioral Health Clinician at Denver Health since 2014 and in this role provides support and motivation to others to help them achieve their health goals.
10 Easy Exercises You Can Do While Cooking (and Eating) Your Holiday Meals
1. Wall or counter-top push up
Stand about 3 feet away from the wall, extend your arms forward, placing hands on a wall (or counter) in front of you. Push yourself forward and back aiming to get your arms to bend to a 90 degree angle. Breathe and keep your back flat.
2. Leg Lifts with pulses at the counter
While you’re prepping food at the counter, lift one leg up and back (only as high as you can keep your balance). At the highest point of your lift, pulse your leg one inch in an up and down motion. Use the counter to help you balance. Do 20 pulses with each leg.
3. Leg lifts with pulses to the side
This time lift your leg out to the side while using the counter to help you balance. Again, lift your leg out to your side and pulse in one inch increments. Be sure to stand up straight and not lean to the other side. Do 20 pulses with each leg.
4. Standing oblique crunch
As you wait for the rolls to rise, stand arm-lengths away from the counter, extending your arms forward to create a “table-top” position. Lift one leg back, bend to 90 degrees, and crunch to the side trying to touch knee to nose. Complete 10-15 each side.
5. Bicep curls
Maybe it’s a can of pumpkin filling or a gallon of milk, but stand with relaxed, bent knees with your weight of choice in hand. Extend your arms straight-down towards your toes. Lift your weight by bending your elbow towards your chest, keeping your elbow in a fixed place. Do 10 per side.
6. Static Squat
While you’re checking the turkey, sit back into a squat position, as if you were going to sit on a chair. Hold this for at least 20 seconds. If you’d like, add the same pulsing motion as described above; drop the squat one inch lower then up an inch, down an inch, up an inch…and so on.
7. Calf Raises
If you want to start burning off that pumpkin pie while still at the table, place both feet flat on the floor. Lift your heels off the ground and tense your calveshold for a count of 5 or longer. Rest and repeat.
8. Ab Hold
Before your belly gets too full, sit up straight, and flex your stomach while seated. This isn’t just “sucking in” your stomach – this is flexing as if you were about to get pelted in the belly during a snowball fight! Hold this for 30 seconds- rest and repeat. Be sure to breathe while doing so!
9. Wall sits
After all that running around, you might want to just have a seat, but the family has taken up all the lounge chairs. Instead of sitting in the lay-z-boy, lean your back up against a wall, feet about 2-3 feet off the wall, and sink down to a “as close to 90 degree” seated position as possible and hold for 30 seconds to one minute (or more). Sit back and relax!
Take those cans of green beans, put one in each hand, bend forward slightly, and keeping that elbow fixed along your side, push those cans back fully, reaching behind you. Do at least 15 per side.