Stay Slim, Trim & Sane While Holiday Shopping

The holidays are back and we're shopping like crazy again! Shopping is one of those time-consuming activities that we do for both pleasure and business, but add in the "holiday factor" and you’ve got more stress -- especially when shopping starts hindering your workout efforts and you're faced with the dreaded holiday weight gain. Here's a fun and efficient way to get your shopping done while staying fit. Make your list, check it twice, then get out there and do the ultimate holiday shopper's workout.

Woman going holiday shopping

It's true: Shopping is a necessity during the holiday season, but it sure gets in the way of your fitness goals -- shopping requires time, and often it encroaches on the time you set aside to sweat. So should your workouts suffer because you have to shop? Absolutely not! You can do both and have more time to yourself. Here's how you can make the best of shopping while burning some calories!

1Eat before you shop

Never shop on an empty stomach. Eating a fat-burning, balanced meal before shopping will give you the energy and clarity you need to make wise purchases. It will also help prevent you from eating junk food while you shop, which many of us tend to do.

2Park farther away from the store

We often look for parking spaces that are close to the mall so we don't have to walk too far. This year I want you to look for that parking space that is farthest from the mall -- then briskly walk or jog to the front entrance of the mall. Even better, circle the perimeter a couple of times before you go in and don't be surprised when you find a parking space quickly.

3Take the stairs

If the mall has more than one level, go for the stairs rather than using the escalator. It will serve as an additional cardiovascular exercise.

4Do squats

Instead of bending over to reach for items on a lower shelf, sit back into a squat as you reach for these items and repeat several times as you decide among the items you want to buy. This will strengthen and tone your legs and glutes.

5Reaching for items on higher shelves

Do some calf raises when reaching for items. Raise your heels high off the floor and bring them down again repeatedly at least 10 times. You'll work your shoulders and strengthen your calves.

6Make use of the weight you carry

To strengthen and sculpt beautiful arms, make your heavy purse and those shopping bags work for you. Whether you're browsing the aisles or waiting in line, perform a few arm curls with the shopping bags in your hands. If you don't have bags, use bottles from a shelf.

7Waiting for purchase

When waiting to check out, try standing on one leg. Your knee should be slightly bent, with abs pulled in and shoulders pulled back. This will strengthen and stabilize feet and ankles, and help improve your balance.

As you can see, by making just a few alterations in the way you shop, you can sneak in a workout and burn some extra calories. These easy steps will keep your head in the game so you don't miss a beat. The big takeaway: You'll be so proud that you didn't neglect yourself while shopping for everyone else!

Watch: How to stick to your diet during the holidays

With all the parties and dinners during the holidays, sticking to your diet can be a daunting challenge. But it's possible to survive the holidays without starving yourself.

More holiday health tips

Healthy holiday tips to avoid weight gain
Top 5 tips to eat less this holiday season
Holiday weight gain: 10 stress-busting ways to burn calories

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