Tips for Maintaining Your Physique While Enjoying Your Favorite Treats

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 General News
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LOS ANGELES, Nov. 10 Ready or not, the holiday season ishere. The temptations begin with Halloween candy, continue throughThanksgiving with turkey and pies, merry-making eggnog and potato latkes, andthen New Year's toasts. But, it doesn't end there. Next come Super Bowlbuffalo wings and Valentine's Day chocolates to contend with. Everyone'sstomachs keep expanding with four months of non-stop holiday cooking andfeasting.

Enter Helene Phillips, the mind, body and soul guru to the elite dance andfitness world. Helene suggests to people that will be spending a lot of timein the kitchen to try something new this year -- exercising while preparingtheir tasty meals and treats during the holidays.

"Most of us don't realize that within the kitchen lies our very ownprivate gym," says Helene. "With our heavy pots stored below the kitchencounter and our dishes stored above, the workout becomes continuous simply byreaching for everything." So, instead of gaining that holiday jolly belly thisyear, the cooking connoisseurs should try maintaining their physiques whilestill being able to enjoy their favorite holiday treats. Below, Helene sharessome of her fun and easy fitness tips that anyone can try in the kitchen...

Holiday Music to Get You in the Mood

First step is for the cook to put on some holiday or dance music in thebackground. This will help to get into the holiday spirit and the toes tappingto the beat. If the cooking stays enjoyable, then it'll be a fun experienceoverall.

Prepping the Food AND Your Body

Before prepping the food at hand, taking a few deep breaths will help toincrease the supply of oxygen to the body. First, lift the hands and arms highinto the air and fill the lungs with a deep inhale. On the exhale, lower thearms and put the hands on the kitchen counter. Looking down at the floor, makesure that the hands are shoulder width apart and that the body isperpendicular to the floor with the hands still on the counter. Everyoneshould feel a stretch down the backs of their legs. Staying in this position,take a few more deep breaths, inhaling through the nose and out through themouth.

Squatting for Pots and Pans

When it's time to pull out the pots and pans under the kitchen counter,try squatting down next to the pot instead of bending over. This is anexercise that is great for strengthening the arms and quads.

Grab the pot with two hands and hold it close to the body. Beforestanding, fill the lungs with a deep inhale. On the exhale, pull in the absand straighten the legs. The trick is to not use the hands to assist on theway up. Squatting down instead of bending over saves the back from strain,too. This is an exercise that can be done repeatedly while waiting forsomething to heat up.

Kitchen Counter Push Ups

The common kitchen move of stirring is excellent for the arms, but there'sanother exercise that can yield great results for biceps.

Place the hands on the kitchen counter and feet away from the counter soit looks like a "push-up." Keeping the body in one diagonal line from toes tothe head, make sure to keep the chin down, head back, and pull the bellybutton in. The neck and shoulders should remain relaxed.

To begin the push up, bend the arms and try touching the chest to thecounter. The only movement should be coming from the arms, with the elbowsgoing straight back and close to the body. Do 10 reps, rest, and then do 10more.

In the time it takes to prepare those amazing holiday meals, everyone canwork their abs, legs, arms and derriere. Great music is also essential for thesoul. But, the best part of all -- the cooks in the kitchen can now enjoy themeals they've slaved over guilt free!

Helene is a renowned dancer, choreographer and Emmy-nominated director,having worked with mega stars such as Madonna, Michael Jackson and JohnTravolta. As one of the original 'Solid Gold' dancers, Helene is a respectedchoreographer in the industry and has contributed to some of the world's mostacclaimed productions.

To watch some of her work, please click on the following demo reel:

SOURCE Helene Phillips

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