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Black Friday Shopping Saves Money and Burns Calories

The day after Thanksgiving, known  as Black Friday, is a shopper’s dream, and a famous tradition across the country. This year, you can use it to save money and burn calories.

People might look at you like you’re crazy for doing some of this stuff, but who cares? Everyone there woke up at four am, but you’re the one turning a marathon sale into a marathon workout. They’re spending all of their energy fighting over the last whatever-the-hot-toy-of-the-year-is and nothing more. Now who looks like the crazy one?

Here are some tips to help you burn major calories on the day after Thanksgiving:

Start off right by enjoying a healthy breakfast. If you need caffeine, opt for a low calorie drink and include plenty of water. Bring a couple low-calorie (but filling!) snacks so you’re not tempted by convenience food when you’re shopping.

Take advantage of the sales. Consider hitting up more than one shopping mall. A lot of people avoid exercise because they can’t stay motivated. It’s easier to ignore the burn when you’re shopping and the more you buy, the more time you’re spending moving.

Park far, far away. The temptation to fight someone for the last stall in the first row will be high, but I urge you to resist. Just think about all the extra calories you will burn walking to and from the car.

Make the most of your time in line. I can tell you from grueling experience that Black Friday shopping will involve lines- lots and lots of lines. Capitalize the time you spend in those long, boring (did I say long?) lines, by doing simple stretches or by walking in place. Women can also do kegels, but I’d advise not sharing that with the people you’re shopping with. You wouldn’t want to scare anyone away!

Make it Fun! Recruit a shopping buddy and you won’t be so afraid to do something silly. Propose a friendly competition to see who burns more calories. Wear pedometers to see who can walk the most steps and incorporate exercises whenever you can. Lunges, squats, jumping jacks and lifting weights (ie, those gigantic bags of sale-loot you’ll be carrying) are all ways to burn extra calories.

Always take the stairs. Elevators and escalators can be tempting cop-outs when you’re shopping. If stairs aren’t an option, try walking up the escalator.

At this point, I must stress the importance of safety. Please do not do anything to endanger yourself or anyone else. A crowded store could be a very dangerous place to do some of these things. More than saving money or burning extra calories, common sense and good judgment are of the utmost importance.

November 25th, 2010

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