Shopping for the holidays doesn’t have to get in the way of your workout schedule – in fact, it can be a good workout all by itself! If you do a lot of your shopping at the mall, you can use the time you’re there to squeeze in some extra walking and burn some calories. If you’re heading to the mall this Monday, you can still do your Monday Mile!
No matter what kind of mall is in your area, outdoor or indoor, it’s a perfect setting to get in the holiday spirit while engaging in a healthy physical activity. Walking is a low-impact form of exercise that is great for keeping your muscles working, your posture straight, and your stamina high. Any time spent walking is better than being sedentary, and that includes walking while running errands. There are plenty of ways to make the most of your mall trip as a walking workout by incorporating a few calorie-burning ideas. Around the holidays, you’ll even have decorations and music to accompany you! (Another upside: the mall is a lot less crowded on Mondays than it is on the weekends!)
Find reasons to reward yourself. You’re at the mall to buy gifts for other people – why not reward yourself for working hard while you’re at it? Find different ways to challenge yourself – get your shopping done in a set amount of time or reach a certain number of steps and buy yourself a gift! A great way to add some extra steps to your walk is to bring your bags back to the car after visiting a couple of stores. Or you can finish your shopping, unload your bags, then stay in the mall to walk a couple of laps. You’ll add to your step count and give yourself something to work for.
Follow a walk routine. You can easily burn about 100 calories while shopping at the mall, but if you aren’t too weighed down by bags, use your time to change up your walk. Set up an interval timer on your phone to walk slowly for a minute, then moderately for five, then briskly for 10 minutes. You can also use an interval to put your bags down and do tricep dips and push-ups at a bench. If your bags are heavy, use them to do some bicep curls.
Bring a friend. In addition to being a great workout, mall walking is a great social opportunity! Having a friend tag along can help you stay motivated and pass the time. Walking together may also bring out your competitive streak. Give each other challenges, like hitting a certain number of stores in half an hour then meeting at the food court. Last one to arrive buys lunch!
It’s important to take care of yourself during the season of giving – you’ll just have to get creative to come up with ways to do it! This Monday, combine your holiday shopping with your workout to kill two birds with one stone.