Sweat and Shop
I confess: With only 10 shopping days until Christmas, I have not finished shopping. Bigger confession: I’ve barely even begun.
How to Shape Up While Shopping
Burn calories at the mall. Did you know that you can burn calories while enjoying the holiday scenery? Beat the crowds to the mall and cruise the window displays, making sure to opt for the stairs instead of the elevators—you’ll get holiday inspiration while burning energy. Some malls even open early for walkers and offer walking programs. Power mall-walking provides dependable conditions, comfortable temperatures and interesting diversions. Plus, you’ll be the first to know about the latest sales! Pedometers can help you track your number of steps—try to aim for 10,000 throughout one shopping day.
Build muscle while toting your gifts. Carrying items weighing 25 pounds or more up a flight of stairs is considered vigorous activity by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Once you’ve picked up that new toaster oven for Grandma or the kids’ new shoes, take the stairs instead of the escalator to your next store.
Buy yourself the gift of health. Have you been eyeing a treadmill or the latest elliptical? Are you the type of person whose number one New Year’s resolution is to get in better shape? Set yourself up for success this year with the right equipment by taking advantage of holiday sales. Buy now so you won’t have any excuses come January 1.
Discover unusual exercise opportunities. Whether or not you realize it, there are chances to burn calories everywhere you turn. While searching for that perfect gift, remember that every time you squat, bend, stride, reach and lift, you’re working your way toward lost pounds and toned muscles. Take it a step further and carry your purchases instead of pushing them in a cart, and park your car a little farther away in the parking lot to increase your number of steps. You’ll feel better about your holiday shopping knowing that you’re burning calories while you’re doing it.
Make it a family affair. Instead of struggling through a family shopping trip, make it fun! Gather your posse and make each shopping excursion a contest. See who can walk to the store entrance the quickest, or keep track of how many laps you’ve each made around the mall. After you’ve found that last gift, take a walk around the neighborhood to check out the local holiday decorations.
Listen to music. If you’re shopping solo, pop in ear buds while you’re on the present-prowl. An upbeat song will improve your mood and make you walk faster. Set private goals to accomplish certain tasks within song-time limits. This will motivate you to keep the activity intense but not overwhelming.
Return the favor. If you choose to push your purchases in a cart, walk the cart back into the store after unloading instead of leaving the cart in the outdoor corral. Those extra efforts will make a big impact on your shopping exercise regimen!
How are you incorporating fitness into your holidays? —Erin