Turn Your Holiday Shopping Trip into a Workout

When it comes to shopping for holiday presents, people generally fall into one of two camps:  they love it and take any opportunity they can to hit the stores; or they hate it and try to put it off until the last minute, if not avoid it all together.  Coincidentally, the same can be said for people’s feelings on exercise.  Whichever camp you most identify with for either activity, try thinking outside of the box this holiday season to combine shopping and exercise for a win-win situation that will benefit your family and friends and your body.  Here are some tips to help you increase your heart rate and calorie burn while you’re out decking the malls this holiday season:

  • Step it up. Challenge yourself to meet a daily goal of 10,000 steps by wearing a pedometer, comfortable clothes, and sneakers while you’re out and about. You’ll have an easier time racking up the steps if you’re comfortable and have a tool to instantly track your progress.
  • Go the distance. To add extra steps to your trip, park your car as far away from the store or mall entrance as you can.  Once inside, take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator, and talk a lap around before deciding what you’d like to purchase.
  • Fit in a strength training workout. Think of your shopping bags as weights – the more filled with presents they are, the better workout you’re going to get.  As you’re carrying them around the mall or back to your car, slightly lift your shopping bags then lower them for an instant workout for your biceps and triceps.
  • Work your lower body. See an item you like on a higher shelf? Do some calf raises by stretching to reach or look at it.  For items at floor level, squat down to pick up or view them.

Neither holiday shopping nor working out need to feel like chores if you approach them with a positive attitude and the belief that you’ll be making others happy and improving your health in the process.

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