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Stay Healthy while Shopping

How's that holiday shopping going?! Just a few tips will help you stay as healthy as possible while hitting the malls. Follow these tips and feel free to shop 'til you drop!

If you are anything like me, you still have quite a bit of holiday shopping to do before the big day arrives.  Being on your feet for hours, standing in long lines, carrying heavy bags and doing it all in uncomfortable clothes or shoes can wreak havoc on your body.  Here are some common sense tips to keep you shopping right through the holiday season while keeping you in good shape.

First of all, think before you leave the house.  Make sure you wear comfortable clothing that is appropriate for the weather and wear supportive shoes or sneakers.  All day shopping trips are not the times to be experimenting with new shoes or wearing uncomfortable ones.  Your legs and feet do tend to swell throughout the day so keep that in mind if your shoes feel a little snug to begin with.

Since you will likely have to park far away, think of it as a few minutes of the cardiovascular exercise you have been putting off lately.  Save yourself the stress and mental anguish of fighting over the one close spot and just look for the next available one down the aisle.  

Once you make it into the store it is wise to use a shopping cart, if available, to hold all of your packages.  Carrying heavy and unequal weight in each arm can strain your back, neck or shoulders.  If a cart is not available, then save the heavy gifts for last, take several small breaks or make several trips to your car so you are not left carrying awkward packages for hours.  Again, look at the extra trips to your car as calories burned for the extra holiday desserts you’ll be indulging in soon enough. 

The aroma of fried food, cinnamon buns and coffee will undoubtedly penetrate your nasal passages and make you want to eat.  Choose your snacks wisely.  Protein-packed snacks will keep you full longer and nothing quenches thirst better than water.  If you do opt for pizza, fries, soda and cinnamon buns then make several extra trips back to the car! 

If pain or dysfunction limit your ability to shop in malls or stores, then you can always resort to online shopping, catalogs or home television shopping.  But, whenever possible, it would be best to get out of the house for the physical activity, mental stimulation and to absorb some of the holiday cheer in the air.  Balancing idle time on the computer or on the couch with the physical act of shopping is good for all of us. 

Lastly, keep in mind the reason for your shopping trip.  This is the time of year to show our loved ones that we are thinking about them and the gift is an outward gesture of this.  Don’t get bogged down by the commercial hustle and bustle.  There is nothing worse than seeing people fighting over parking spots and angrily yelling at each other or family members in the stores, especially this time of year. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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