I practise karate in my kitchen. That’s normal, right?

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Karate in the Kitchen

I spend a lot of time in my kitchen. Cooking, eating, feeding my cats,… practising kicks.

It’s my favourite room in the house. It has food, and a mirror on the wall; but mostly food, so I’m in there a lot.

I’m a restless person, a goer, a doer. I don’t like sitting; I’m happiest when I’m active. So awhile back, I started doing this thing.

My neighbours probably think that I’m pretty weird. And hey, they might be right. But just hear me out.

Nothing To Do? Exercise!

I’d be standing at the counter, chopping, dicing, julienning. (Okay, I don’t julienne. Stirring! That’s it.) Doing the usual cooking things. And then I’d have a break. Nothing to do for a few minutes, but I wouldn’t want to leave the stove. So I started exercising, in between cooking tasks when I could spare the time.

I’d run through a kata.

I’d do standing kicks: 10 on each leg. Front kick, roundhouse kick, side kick, hook kick. Or I’d put one hand on the counter, leaning my weight, and do 50 kicks on each leg. Or, if I was feeling particularly masochistic, I’d extend my leg at the end of the kick, and hold it there until I was ready to die.

Then I’d get back to the stove.

Sneak in Training Anywhere, Anytime

The options are endless. I’ve bashed appliances with nunchucks. Done sparring drills in slippers. Jump squats in between pancake flips.

Any of this can be done in the middle of other activities. While cooking, doing housework, sitting at the computer, watching tv.

You can throw in these short bursts intermittently—at random times—or schedule them at regular intervals. Every hour on the hour, say, you could bang out a few minutes.

Do this regularly, and those short sessions can really add up.

Benefits of Intermittent Workouts

Ideally, you’d add this to regular, conventional workouts for the most benefit long-term. But if you don’t have time on a particular day for a workout, intermittent workouts like this can certainly be a decent substitute.

Intermittent workouts can:

  • improve your fitness
  • boost your metabolism
  • give you a mental break from other activities
  • increase your mobility
  • boost your mood

They also keep you motivated, and help fight all-or-nothing thinking, which could otherwise lead to procrastination and getting off track.

(For more information on intermittent workouts, check out this Precision Nutrition article here.)

Normalize Movement

With a small time commitment, you can start that shift from a more sedentary to a more active lifestyle. The more of these short bursts you fit into your day, the more you normalize such activity. And then you’ll want it more. And you’ll do it more. And you’ll improve your fitness level as a result.

Achieve Your Goals

If your goal is to kick ass at your sport, like me with karate, this is a great way to help you work towards that goal.

So start today. 20 seconds. One minute. Whatever amount of time you have, peppered throughout your day. It’s totally achievable.

Throw in short bursts of activity, as much as possible. What? You DON’T practise karate in your kitchen?! You DON’T do jumping lunges down your hallway?! Well, why not? You should.

And if you’re worried about your neighbours seeing you, well, don’t be. Cuz maybe they’ll wanna try it too.

What are some exercises you can sneak in during other, more sedentary activities? Try it today!