Inspiration

The Most Useful Exercises Ever

Written by: Ben Orkin

rye crackers dough

I’ve always wondered whether baking was exercise?

I mean when I put my equipment away and replace it with some good old elbow grease, I can really feel my pulse increasing and my muscles burning. After some research I have come up with the following exercises. I personally think that they the best kinds of exercise because at the end you are rewarded with something delicious.

Please note that these are very serious exercises and I expect you to follow them studiously. With these exercises, you can put as much or as little effort you would like into them, I encourage and expect maximum effort.

It’s important to stretch before any exercise, especially when it comes to baking, the last thing that you would want it to pull a muscle whipping egg whites. Most of these exercises involve arm movements. I tried to think of some leg exercises, but all I could come up with was kneading dough with you feet, which is a little gross on numerous amounts of levels.

Kneading

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This has got to be one of the toughest exercises. It involves a great amount of arm strength and energy. You need to knead the dough to a certain point where the gluten strands build up in the dough. This usually takes about 10 minutes. The easiest way to achieve this is to stretch, pull, push and fold the dough. Once the dough can be stretched easily without tearing, you have reached the end of your workout. This process can also be meditative and extremely relaxing.

Use the following recipe for Challah Bread taken from my blog.

Make meringues

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This is also very tough. You really just need to believe you are a machine and mix until there is no tomorrow. First, you need to bring the egg wites to stiff peeks and then add the sugar and flavourings. This means double effort, which means your arms will be sore afterwards.

Use this recipe for Chocolate Pavlova taken from my blog with help from my friend Nikki Albertyn.

Whip cream

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This one is a similar process to making meringues, only a little easier.

Use this recipe for Spiced pumpkin Cake taken from my blog.

Cream Butter & Sugar for a cake sponge

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In most recipes, they call for room temperature butter to be used when baking cake sponges. This is correct, however for the purposes of a good exercise, I would suggest using chilled butter. It will only make the process more difficult, which is good in this case.

Use this recipe Marble cake taken from my blog.

Grinding spices with a pestol and mortar

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This one will give you good wrist strength as well as some arm strength.

Use this recipe for Moroccan stuffed spiral loaf taken from my blog.

Make fruit cake and use it as a weight

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I know it’s a little abstract, but the festive season is coming up and so you might as well get some exercise in. Fruits cake are generally heavy and would be perfect for heavy lifting. Just wrap in tinfoil and pretend it is a normal weight.

Don’t forget to take water breaks

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Squeeze a citrus

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The squeezing action from your hands will give you good hand strength, which is needed for a strong handshake.

Do squats

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You could do this in front of the oven or at the edge of your table. This one can be very useful to get a good leg as well as core exercise in as well as use up the baking time productively.

After all of this you will feel very fit and healthy!

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Happy exercising!

Ben

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