7 Ways To Get Fit While You Shop

Okay, so I'm totally not going to tell you to go shopping on Thanksgiving! It's a holiday meant to celebrate the most important people in your life and your dozens of blessings! Shopping on Thanksgiving day is kind of like being absorbed in your iPhone when you have company—you aren't paying attention to what matters most. However, once the holiday is in your rearview mirror, shop 'til you drop! And ... burn a few extra calories along the way. Here's how:

1. Turn your holiday shopping into a workout.

Did you know that you can burn calories while enjoying the holiday scenery? Before the crowds overtake the shopping malls, (some malls open early for walkers and offer walking group programs) get there early and cruise the window displays, incorporate some lunges and stair climbing. You’ll get holiday inspiration while burning energy. If you wear a pedometer, you’ll be able to track your progress. Aim for 10,000 steps each day. Power mall walking provides dependable safe conditions, comfortable temperatures and interesting diversions. Plus you’ll be the first to know about the latest sales.

2. Don't think of it as schlepping, think of it as an arm workout.

Carrying items weighing 25 pounds or more up a flight of stairs is considered vigorous activity by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So while you are unloading that toaster oven for Grandma or the kids’ new giant Lego set, opt for the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.

3. Buy yourself the gift of health.

Been eyeing a treadmill or an elliptical? Are you the type of person whose number one resolution is always to get in shape? Set yourself up for success this year with the right equipment. Holiday season is a good time of year to get home fitness equipment at a great price.

4. Discover unusual exercise opportunities.

Whether you realize it or not, there are chances to burn calories everywhere. While searching for that perfect gift, remember that every squat, bend, stride, reach and lift equals lost pounds and toned muscles. Ramp it up and carry your purchases instead of pushing them in a cart. Park your car a little further away in the parking lot. Make your shopping experience double the reward by losing the calories and gaining gifts on your list.

5. 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 run fastest to the store entrance, or keep track of how many laps you've all logged around the mall. After you’ve found that last gift, invite the family to walk around the neighborhood to check out the holiday decorations.

6. Listen to music.

If you’re shopping solo, pop on 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.

7. Return the favor.

If you choose to transport your purchases in a cart, instead of leaving the cart in the outdoor corral, return it to the store. Those extra steps, count!

To keep your spirits high this holiday season, stay active! Burn calories, move more and shop til you drop! (Figuratively speaking, of course!)

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