GUEST POST: Think “December” and your thoughts inevitably move to Christmas, and then even more inevitably to Christmas shopping. Was there ever a task more draining than Christmas shopping? Particularly if, like many of us here you’ve left it to the last minute! But it’s not all negative. In fact, as we’ve found out, Christmas shopping can have its physical benefits too!
We’re always looking for ways to incorporate a bit of healthy balance into our everyday lives – whether it’s carrying around a water bottle to make sure we get out recommended daily intake, making healthy diet choices, or walking and cycling instead of driving or taking public transport. But it wasn’t until we battled our way through a particularly brutal shopping throng on one of London’s busiest streets that we realised the work-out opportunity facing us! Yes – you can get fit and shop at the same time! Read on for our top shopping-work-out tips!
- An obvious one this: dress the part. There’s no point trying to move and breathe and stay engaged with your body if you’re wearing high-heeled boots or buckled in to a long, flowing coat. You need trainers, and stretchy clothes. (We hate to use the “Lycra” word, but honestly, it’s ideal for Christmas shopping!)
- Bring a light back pack. Nothing fancy or overly large – but you’ll need something for carrying your hat, scarf and gloves once the blood starts to flow. Because there’s nothing which kills a shopping workout like tripping over your scarf and losing one of your gloves which was crammed into your pocket!
- Make a plan – having a shopping list is not enough. This is a workout so you need to be prepared! Have a look at a map of the area you’re focusing on, and work out the longest way – yes, you read that right – of getting from your starting point to your finishing point. The further you walk, the more calories you’ll burn! So that shop on the other side of Oxford Street which you just can’t face going to? Go to it!
- In a department store? Take the stairs whenever you can. In doing so, be mindful of your thigh and bum muscles, and focus on flexing them if you can. You may be surprised at just how tired they’ll feel tomorrow!
- Queue time – one of the major drawbacks of Christmas shopping – can be used to maximum effect too. Instead of sighing in annoyance and shifting from one foot to the next, use the time to engage your core. Drop your shoulders, draw in your belly button, and breathe for 20. Another good queue exercise is to do a gentle squat – nothing obvious enough which will result in funny looks from fellow-shoppers, just a few centimetres to engage your leg muscles.
- Stay balanced. Literally. Make sure that the shopping bags in each hand are more or less of equal weight, adjusting as necessary. That way you reduce the risk of straining your arm or shoulder muscles.
- Take a water break. Take several in fact. Determined shopping is thirsty work, and even in mid-December you’ll get dehydrated easily.
Feature courtesy of balancebox.com