For some people, being on your feet all day at work can sound more appealing than sitting behind a desk. You say, it keeps you active and better than paying for a gym membership but whilst there are benefits, your feet, your legs and your back can suffer the achy repercussions. That's why we've found the best exercises for chefs to do at work, to keep your limbs strong and healthy.
Exercises to do whilst standing up
When working in a bustling kitchen, you will be on your feet for long hours and when you do catch that fifteen minute break, you don't want to use your allotted relaxing time to exercise.
The exercises we recommend are quick and simple movements you can do whilst you're working. These exercises can be done when you're checking the sauces, kneading the dough, dicing the onions (make sure to take extra care around sharp objects) and all other tasks.
Don't worry, we won't be expecting you to do yoga poses, you might get a few strange looks if you start doing 'the tree' whilst you are waiting for the sauce to thicken.
1) Mini press ups... for your feet
It wouldn't be very hygienic to drop and do twenty press ups on a kitchen floor but this doesn't mean your feet can't get some reps in. Starting on your heels, put your weight onto the heels of your feet and then lift your toes into the air. This will help stretch all the muscles in your feet. After you've completed about 10-20 reps, do the same with your heel. Place your weight onto the balls of your feet, then lift your body up. This small exercise can also help tone your calves and benefit circulation.
2) Swaaay with the hips
Keeping your hips loose is beneficial for your back, you don't want to be standing still all day as your back will make you regret it later. This is a simple one, most people will think you're just jamming along with the radio or a song in your head so it's a discreet exercise too.
Using your hips like weighing scales, sway from side to side. It's a light and relaxing exercise, don't strain yourself, just keep a steady motion and just pull the muscles in your hips slightly to give a small stretch. After you've had enough (twenty reps should be plenty), move your hips in a circular motion, first, counter-clockwise and then do the same clockwise. This little exercise moves the weight in your feet as well to help relieve stress from your heels.
3) Keep those feet moving!
You know when you are on a long distance flight and you a recommended to keep moving your feet every so often, well that also helps with standing still. Wiggle your toes, flex your feet, stretch your ankles and bend your knees. When you are working, it can be easy to forget to keep yourself moving. Simple exercises like this can help with circulation and avoid aching pains at the end of the day. You should always take some time to look after your feet and treat them to some comfort, they are the only pair you're ever going to have - treat them right!
4) Shrug your shoulders
Perhaps avoid this one when you're talking to your colleague or your boss. It might seem a bit rude. This is great for keeping your shoulders loose and removing tension in your back. Raise your shoulders up towards your ears, like an exaggerated version of a 'I don't mind' shrug and then release. Each time you raise your shoulders, wiggle and stretch your shoulder blades for extra relief.
You might want to save this one for when the kitchen is a bit quieter so you don't end up knocking into someone. The squat movement is one of the most popular exercises you can do. Why? Because it works. Squats make the muscles in your legs, your thighs and your bum work hard. Standing still can cause aches up along your legs and the lower end of your spine, this workout stretches all the muscles, increases your heart rate and helps tone your muscles. If this is your first time doing squats, take it easy and each time you do the exercise, increase your reps.
These simple exercises can help keep your muscles stretched, you need to take time to look after yourself and if you can do these exercises at work you don't have to use your valuable freedom time later doing crunches.
SFC Froggz Classic II: slip-resistant work shoes with incredible self-massaging insoles
As well as these quick exercises, you can help reduce aches and pains after a long shift by buying suitable shoes for work. Shoes For Crews shoes are designed for professionals on the go, their slip-resistant styles are ideal for working in the kitchen - they protect and keep feet comfortable by providing ample support. When working in an environment that demands you to be standing for long hours, comfortable work shoes can do wonders.
Visit our shop to see our latest styles:
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Are there any other exercises you can recommend for when working in a kitchen? Post your suggestions in the comments below!