We’ve all been there. No time or desire to go to a crowded gym. Too cold or dark to go out for a run. No babysitter for the kids.
This is leading to a big rise in what Personal Trainers like to call ‘functional training’. In other words, doing activities we do in everyday life with a little more ‘oomph’ to strengthen the body (and burn the calories) – simple changes like picking up heavy grocery bags more than once!
We have teamed up with personal trainer Faye Tomlinson to highlight some of the best fat busting ‘functional training' exercises you can do in the time it takes a kettle to boil. We Brits love ‘a cuppa’ popping the kettle on a average of four times a day giving us at least four opportunities a day get fit without even leaving the kitchen…or without buying any celebrity fitness DVDs!
Burn 490 Calories per week
With a litre of water taking around 2 minutes 30 seconds to boil, we've calculated that’s four opportunities to exercise for at least 10 minutes - which can add up to 70 calories a day. Over the course of a week, that’s a not too shabby 490 calories – the equivalent of two average trips to the gym or a five mile run!
Functional exercise in the kitchen could mean wiping, mopping or vacuuming. Combining these with squats, calf raises, worktop press-ups and lunges for example, will keep your metabolism high and strengthen your body. Personal trainer Faye Tomlinson says “Mix in cardio (mopping, scrubbing) with body weight (squatting, lunging, calf raises) to get your blood pumping and raise your heart rate; maximising fat burning results!”
Stretch, twist and burn – Even when doing light forms of cleaning and dusting, tensing your abdominals and sucking them in (even for just 30 seconds at a time) works your core for that elusive flat stomach! You can also clench your buttocks (glutes) – this will burn calories as well as helping to tone up problem areas. Try standing on one leg for 30 seconds, then the other, to work on balance and try 30 calf raises (getting up and down on tip toes) for toned calf muscles.
Window and laundry squats - perform squats while cleaning windows, lifting the washing basket or when cleaning inside your kitchen cupboards. Squat low to the ground (feet shoulder width apart, back straight, sitting down into your bottom) to get water on your cloth, and then stretch up high moving arms in a circular motion to sculpt your shoulders! This will give your arms and legs the perfect dual workout.
A clean lift – Use bottles of cleaning products to tone arms and start and end your cleaning session with gentle activity like running on the spot or jumping jacks – to warm up the body and then cool it down with stretches.
Faye says “The kitchen is the ultimate place for fat busting, with the most pounds to be lost through mopping, window cleaning and scrubbing the floor. This time of year, burning off the festive excess is on everyone’s mind, but life (and housework!) often gets in the way.” So instead of checking your newsfeed while making a cuppa, why not try a few of these multitasking moves instead?
These simple kitchen-based exercises will help you get the most fitness from very little time, so next time you pop the kettle on will you be giving them a try? Share your thoughts and experience with us over on Facebook and Twitter.
Image credit: via Flickr creative commons, with thanks to Velocia.