Blogs > Simply Fit

Simply Fit, by Cindy Haskin-Popp, will help you make physical activity a part of everyday life. The health benefits of regular exercise and overall daily physical activity will be discussed. Fun, practical and easy-to-follow tips on an exercise program will be shared, as will the most current research. Fitness tips for families and seniors, on fitness centers and on buying proper and affordable equipment will be regularly given. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Let The Mall Be Your Gym On Black Friday

Get the most out of your holiday shopping spree by sneaking in some fitness while you are out-and-about this holiday weekend. Black Friday shopping, with its demands of walking from store to store while carrying loaded bags, can be a fun way to challenge your cardiovascular system, strengthen your upper body, and target your core stabilizers. Here are some tips on how to make the mall your workout center for the day:

Before you head out -
  • Dress in comfortable active wear that is lightweight and breathable to help regulate your body temperature. Dressing in layers will allow you to remove extra clothing when your body starts to heat up from walking (and from the increasing crowds as the day goes on).
  • Wear well-cushioned footwear, such as running or walking shoes.
  • Bring a water bottle that can be filled at drinking fountains.
  • Eat a balanced breakfast and/or pack a healthy snack, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, or granola/breakfast bars to keep your blood sugar levels in check.
At the mall -
  • Park in the furthest space from the mall and use the extra walking distance as a "warm-up" before shopping begins and as a "cool-down" at the end of your trip.
  • Loosen-up your body by performing some light stretches prior to entering the mall.
  • Take the stairs instead of the mall's escalators or elevators.
  • Alternate light walking with power walking while going from store to store.
  • Perform heal raises while waiting in line. This not only will strengthen your calf muscles, but it will keep your blood circulating, warding off a possible fainting spell.
  • Put those heavy shopping bags to use and perform a few sets of biceps curls or squats while you are waiting to check-out.
  • Balance the shopping bags so that one-side of your body is not carrying more weight. When the load gets too great, take the bags to your car or put in a mall locker.
  • When lifting your shopping bags, lift with your legs - not your back (see my 06-03-09 post, "Tips for a Healthy Back).
  • While carrying your shopping bags, keep your back straight and abdominal muscles taught. Avoid slouching or leaning to one-side.
  • Remember to stay hydrated. You may be tempted to avoid drinking to limit the number of trips to the mall restroom, but this is not a good idea as it could lead to dehydration.
  • If you will be spending the day at the mall, eat a sensible, well-balanced lunch that will replenish your energy stores without causing a subsequent blood sugar low.
  • At the end of your shopping trip, perform stretching exercises.
Keep in mind that shopping is physical activity. Do not overdue it. Make use of the benches and sitting areas located throughout the mall to take rest breaks. Drink plenty of water and eat sensibly. If your purchases become too difficult to carry, drop them off at the car or place in a mall locker. When done wisely, your shopping trip can be a fun alternative to your regular exercise program. So, when Black Friday comes, get on your mark, get set, and shop!

Note: Before beginning an exercise program or increasing the intensity level of a current routine, a physician's approval should be obtained, especially for older adults and those at risk for or who currently have chronic health conditions.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home