Bustling around the kitchen - oven is hot, food is everywhere, dishes are dirty, too many treats have been consumed, a game of catch is happening . . . in the house. Your sister-in-law won’t stop complaining, and Grandpa is making inappropriate comments. Take deep breaths. Breathe in through your chest. Breathe out. Breathe in through your abdomen. Breathe out.
Sound like your house around the holidays? If not, you are lucky. If your house is the same as mine, you are going to need to take a break once in a while. Focus on yourself and center your mind on the present, even if it’s just for 5 minutes. Close your eyes, breathe, do some stretching, possibly some yoga, or run in place. They say necessity is the mother of invention, so here are some unique strength training options for stress relief when you find yourself hiding in your kitchen:
Equipment: 2 kitchen towels/washcloths and an oven mitt
Reverse lunges – 20 total
Counter push-ups -20 total (lean on counter with feet about 4-5 feet away from counter. Make a straight line and lower into a push up while keeping abdominals squeezed tight.
Squats – 20 total
Dips-15 total (find a chair or other ledge, perhaps the fireplace or the bottom of a staircase)
Hamstring Curls – 15 total (lie on the floor using the oven mitt as a pillow. Bend your knees and bring your feet close to your buttocks. Place heels on the kitchen towels. Lift up your hips into a bridge position. Extend both feet at the same time and pull them back (still in unison) to starting position while keeping buttocks lifted off the ground. You may also alternate legs to decrease intensity).
Plank Hold – 30 seconds (facing the floor, place toes on kitchen towels and slide your feet side to side).
Mountain Climbers (optional)- 30 seconds. If you really need to get some stress out, continue from the plank hold into mountain climbers. (Keep toes on the kitchen towels while bending one knee towards your chest at a time, quickly.)