Until recently, the strongest connection I could see between knitting and fitness was that I sometimes wear a pair of knitted legwarmers when I’m skating. But in a discussion thread on Ravelry about multitasking, someone posted that she often does calf raises or squats when she’s knitting. I thought this was brilliant: how many times have I sat there knitting for hours, promising myself I’d get up and walk around after just one more row?
So what other exercises can we do while knitting? Try these at your own risk, I don’t want anyone skewering themselves with their needles.
- Leg-lifts (lay on your side on the floor, propped up on your elbow, and lift and lower your leg)
- Balancing on one leg
- Calf-raises while balancing on one leg
- Bicycles (where you lie on your back and ride an invisible bike in the air)
- Stretches! There are so many stretches you could do while knitting. To stretch out my hamstrings I sometimes sit against the wall with my legs straight out in front of me, feet flexed. You could probably do this calf stretch while knitting. There are some foot stretches that you can do while sitting down (some are as easy as scrunching your toes), and if you haven’t been stretching your feet, you should try it, especially if you walk a lot or have a job where you are on your feet all day. I find that I tense my jaw when I’m knitting something complicated, so I do the one where I open my mouth really wide and stick my tongue out to counteract the tension.
I’m probably not going to get a super ripped body by doing any of these, but I’m going to at least try some of them when I’m knitting for half an hour or more, to prevent parts of me from going numb. There’s a lot of hype right now about how sitting is bad for you, and it’s a good idea to move around once an hour or so when you’re doing stationary work. Anybody down for a stitch ‘n burn ‘n bitch?