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Calorie Count Blog

Burn More Calories with Holiday Shopping

By kimfitness on Nov 23, 2012 10:00 AM in Tips & Updates

By Kimberly Fleming

During the holiday season, most people will spend more time in malls and shopping centers than they have all year long. With a growing to-do list, it can be easier than ever to put exercising on the back burner to successfully prepare for holiday events. Ironically, the end of the year, with colder weather and increased temptations for holiday treats, is when commitment to a workout regimen is crucial. In order to succeed and maintain the healthy lifestyle that you brought you this far, you have to find a way to fit your exercise in your holiday preparation agenda.

Breaking a sweat and burning calories in the mall is the perfect way to stay on top. You can walk off your weight and get fit at the same time and in the same place that you shop. How is that for multi-tasking?

The following tips are fun ways to burn extra calories during your trip to the mall.

Park Farther Away From the Front Door

This old fitness trick is an easy way to add more time (and walking) to your mall workout routine. Instead of spending extra minutes waiting and searching for a closer parking spot, simply head straight to the back and speed walk your way inside the mall. 

Find the Stairs & Double Up

To add a burst of cardio to your mall workout and burn even more calories, ditch the elevator and the escalator and choose the stairs. They will be less crowded anyway. Stair climbing is great to build cardio endurance and tone muscles. Create more intensity by making it a rule to climb each staircase you see two or more times before moving to the next store on your shopping trip.

Use the Benches

Who says that benches are just for sitting and resting while the family shops? You can use empty benches as an exercise tool for quick strength training drills. Yes people will stare, but if you go early enough in the morning, you won't feel so self-conscious. To make it fun, come up with creative routines like doing 20 Tricep-Dips or pushups every time you see a bench in the mall. If you're there in the midst of the busy afternoon hours, go with friends and family and have a little competition. You might convince a stranger to join in too! Adding strength training drills to any workout will help you burn more calories.

Create a Secret Fitness Studio

Most stores in the mall have dressing rooms that you can use to complete a quick, 1-2 minute workout. Make it a rule to stop at a store with a dressing room once every few minutes during your shopping trip to do 1-2 minutes of cardio or strength training drills. No one will ever know you did it and it'll give you a good laugh. You can do squats, jumping jacks, lunges, or whatever challenges you. Just don’t make too much noise.

Add Weights to Your Packages

We all know that shopping bags can become great lifting tools if you are doing lots of shopping. Even if you don’t plan on buying heavy items, you can bring small hand weights to place in your bags to increase intensity and burn more calories. A fun way to incorporate this into your mall workout is to do 10-12 bicep curls and overhead presses before going into any store.

These are just a few ways to make your shopping experience healthier by combing workout time with your trip to the mall. The key is to think more steps. You can wear a pedometer to increase the amount of steps you take to burn more calories.  Do anything that challenges you and gets your heart rate up. You won’t regret it.


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Your thoughts...

How will you move more during your holiday shopping?


I love the idea of doing a quick workout in the dressing room. What a fun way to fit in some extra exercise during this stressful season!

Great original ideas!  We exercise at our desk, why not while shopping.

It may work for some people... but not for me.

Sure, parking further away and taking the stairs are normal and constructive habits, but I can not imagine myself touching every single bench in the mall, or using dressing rooms to do sit-ups. Apart from not wanting to rub against most of those things, there are some practical issues involved here:

1) Dressing rooms are for trying on clothing. People should not wait in a line just because you can not do you workout at home

2) I know that not all people sweat that easily.... but it remains a bad idea to workout and than use clothing from the store as your personal towel.

3) Benches are for sitting. They should be available for their given purpose.

And please do not understand me in the wrong way. I am a big supporter of exercising, but I would also like to live in a clean environment where we respect each other.

It may just be the way I think, but if you go shopping out of need, than you go, buy what you need and then head out (you do not linger in order to train in a dressing room). If you go for ‘recreational shopping’ it means you have enough time on your hands … so why not take some of that time to properly exercise in an environment designed for exercising, or at home.

I am 68 years old. I have some very severe health problems including: coronary

artery disease, Type 2 diabetes with neuropathy affecting all my appendage and

the balance mechanism in my ears and my digestive tract and heart. I have low

back problems which constantly causes pain in my lower back. My doctor

discontinued my medications and referred me to a pain clinic whose rules would

be hard to follow and if they suspected  you were doing anything illegal they

would drop you and inform law enforcement, and this included signing contract

with them accepting the above. They also had random pill counts on all your

medications of which I have 21. This was all because of the stigma attached

to Oxycontin and oxycodone. So I quit them cold turkey and refused to go

to the pain clinic. I did 20 and 4 months in the United States Navy where I was

trusted with some of this country's highest classified information. I figure that

that I have earned the right to medical treatment without suspicion that I was

abusing it. I am in the early stages of Alzheimers Disease.

So my ability to exercise is extremely limited. My hope is to try to lose weight

and stabilize my diabetes through dieting with the right foods and trying to get

as much exercise as I can handle. Not complaining, just explaining.

Regards to all,

William H.(Bill) Erwin

Chief Petty Officer


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