How to combine shopping and exercise

ExerciseGeneral_2015Nov25_AWhether you are mingling with the masses on Black Friday, rushing to the supermarket for some much-needed groceries, or are simply spending more time shopping than at the gym, you don’t have to neglect working out altogether. We’ve complied this handy list of alternative exercises that can be done while you are out shopping. The best news of all is that these, unlike everything else you’ll have to buy, are completely free.

There will be times in life, such as the holiday season, where shopping will take precedence over a trip to the gym. Whether you love it or hate it, there isn’t a whole lot you can do about shopping becoming your number one priority. And, while we can’t help you out with any gift ideas, we have come up with some exercises you can do while you’re looking around the store. Sure, you may look silly doing some of these but, at least in our books, looking silly beats looking flabby.

It’s okay to be pushy

How many minutes and hours do you waste per year standing in a line, especially at the store? The problem with waiting around in a line is that it’s without a doubt the most unproductive thing you could possibly do with your time. That’s why it’s a no-brainer to bust out a couple of sets of pushups while you find yourself waiting to reach the cashier at that big box store, or standing in line at the ATM.

Sure, you’ll look kind of crazy, but are doing pushups while waiting in line really any more or less crazy than playing a candy-based puzzle game on your phone? If anything, you are likely to psych out the people around you and fend off would be-muggers and line-cutters. In addition to the muscular benefits of pushups, you’ll also get your blood pumping and raise your adrenaline levels, which you’ll probably need to make sure you don’t forget anything else on your shopping list.

Shrug it and curl it

If you are holding something in your hand and it is moderately heavy, then you should consider it to be your dumbbell on the go. Shopping bags, a jug of milk, or just about anything you can hold in your hand can act as a free weight in a pinch. So if you can’t get to the gym, instead of carrying something around by your sides, use it to your advantage.

Performing shoulder shrugs and bicep curls can be done just about anywhere, and with just about anything. However, unless you’re carrying something like a bowling ball, it’s unlikely you will find these shrugs and curls all that taxing – but don’t worry about that. The key here is keeping the muscles stimulated in order to prevent muscle loss. You can focus on challenging yourself more the next time you hit the gym.

A new type of go kart

If you’re looking for a full body workout that is also inconspicuous, here is what you can do the next time you are at the store. Grab a shopping cart and head over to the pet food section. Put one or two of those 25-pound bags of dog food in your cart (if you’re at a home improvement store, you can use something like a bag of sand). All you do from there is push the cart up and down the aisles as you would normally. Make sure you are driving the cart with your legs, and not hunching over or using your lower back.

The goal here is for pushing the cart to be moderately challenging. If it seems to be too hard to push, or you find yourself being unable to control the shopping cart, you should lighten the load. And don’t forget to put the dog food, sand or whatever else you used back before checking out, unless you plan on buying it!

While makeshift exercises can be a great backup plan during hectic periods like the holidays, when going to the gym might not be feasible, it is something that should be viewed as a stopgap rather than a permanent solution. And if you find yourself carrying around a little extra weight, why not stop by our facilities and talk to a personal trainer? We can come up with a workout plan that fits your schedule.

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