Shop Til You Drop!

20 12 2013

Are you feeling the time crunch this holiday season? Will you be spending this weekend shopping until you can’t possibly shop anymore? There are benefits to marathon shopping

Cathy Shaw

Cathy Shaw

sprees, but take a few minutes to plan things out well and get the most out of your trip!

Long days shopping can offer us a lot of physical activity that we may not normally get on other days. Time spent walking through the mall, making several trips to the car to unload gifts, and of course carrying around all of those heavy packages can be a real calorie burner when done for an extended period of time. To ramp up your activity while shopping try taking the mall stairs instead of the escalator, and try parking further away from the entrance (no front row parking, even if you can find it!). Make sure you walk from place to place rather that getting the car to drive to opposite ends of your shopping plaza. Get the most from your physical activity. It will help balance out the extra indulgence of occasional holiday treats!

Remember when you go on long shopping trips, you will still need to fuel up for the adventure. Remember to eat breakfast or a healthy snack before you head out for the day. Know your food options wherever you choose to shop. This way you can plan what you will eat for lunch or dinner based on what is available. You can look up nutrition information from your smart phone so you are always in the know about foods and beverages you are choosing on your outing.  If you have larger portions for lunch, share it with a friend- this will cut your calories in half.  Carry your own snacks (or even lunch) with you. This will likely save you calories, fat and sodium, as well as money! Try keeping things with you like small boxes of raisins or cranberries, 100 calorie packs of raw or roasted nuts, zip loc baggies full of apple or orange slices (don’t forget some handiwipes!) , or baggies of dry cereal such as Multigrain Cheerios, Quaker Oat Squares, or bite sized Shredded Wheat. And don’t forget a drink! It is easy to go all day without drinking when you are hustling through store after store. Make sure to bring or buy a bottle of water to drink while shopping to prevent under-hydration. Remember, being hungry and thirsty while on a mission can make you tired, weak and cranky. This can lead to overindulging on poor choices.

So fuel up before you head out the door to finish up your holiday shopping and carry along some healthy treats. Your body and your bank account will thank you!

Feel adventurous? Try this recipe for homemade Fruit and Pecan Granola Bars from Eating Well:

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/fruit_pecan_granola_bars.html

Happy Holidays everyone!

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