Hi everyone! It’s me, Caitlin. Those who know me well, know that I really enjoy cooking. As an athlete, nutrition is a key part of my training and preparation – ensuring that I recover well and fuel myself optimally. However, as a physio, I am even more concerned by posture in the kitchen and how to take care of your body while cooking! Here are some of my hot tips for looking after yourself in the kitchen
Often a large percentage of the cooking time is spent chopping and preparing your basic ingredients. As a result, it is important to set up your posture in the kitchen well for these tasks. Keep in mind that the average kitchen bench is not necessarily the correct height for you (think “one size fits no-one”!). Try these:
- Your shoulders should be relaxed and down (if the bench is too high, you might find your shoulders sitting up)
- Keep your chin tucked in to avoid placing too much strain on your neck
- Keep your elbows in near the sides of your body (sticking them out to the side can load up your shoulders)
- Stand in nice and close to the bench to make it easier on your arms and lower back
- If you have a LOT of food to prep – take breaks! Have a gentle stretch or quick sitting/lying down rest after 20-30mins
In and out of the oven
Trays and dishes coming in and out of the oven are usually quite heavy. So its important to use good lifting technique when tending to your food. Things to keep in mind:
- Lift with your legs! We’ve all heard it before – but make sure you are bending at the hips and knees (rather than your back). By doing a squat you can use your glutes to do the work…. Cooking and doing your physio homework at the same time? Bonus!
- Keep the dish in close to your body. Whilst you don’t want to burn yourself, having the dish/tray relatively close to your body will make it easier to lift and easier on your back and arms
- It can also help to have your legs quite wide so that they are either side of the oven door
- You can also refer to Hannah’s BLOG about squatting.
If your body is sore and holding you back from your cooking passion, make sure you see a musculoskeletal physio who can help work out where your pain is coming from and help with your posture in the kitchen! That way you, you can address the problem, customise your cooking posture and bake pain-free to your heart’s content! Of course we can always help you with this too!