All it takes is 30 minutes of physical activity a day for most people to maintain a healthy activity lifestyle, but we all know that staying active and on a regular workout schedule during the holidays can be tough. Follow these tips from the exercise experts at Life Fitness to turn your holiday shopping trips into festive fitness sessions.
Burn calories at the mall. Did you know that you can burn calories while enjoying the holiday scenery? Before the crowds overtake the shopping malls, get there early 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 group programs. Easy to find at local drug stores, pedometers will help you track your number of steps; try to aim for 10,000 throughout one shopping day. Power mall-walking provides dependable conditions, comfortable temperatures and interesting diversions. Plus you’ll be the first to know about the latest sales.
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.
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.
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 regime!