Health Advocate Blog

Wellness and fitness tips for Black Friday

For many Americans, the tradition of Thanksgiving dinner is followed up by another tradition: Black Friday shopping. This “holiday” draws crowds of people out early in the morning (and sometimes even late Thanksgiving night!) for a full day of shopping. If you’re a Black Friday shopper, try these tips to help you maintain your stamina while you shop and get some post-turkey exercise.

Before you start shopping…

  • Get enough sleep: You might be planning to start shopping late Thursday night or early Friday morning; either way, be sure to get a good night’s sleep before you begin to shop.
  • Pick a comfortable outfit: Make sure you’re wearing weather-appropriate clothes, while still allowing you to easily remove layers should you become hot in the crowded stores. Opt for shoes that you can easily walk in to prevent aching feet or injury.
  • Start your day with a healthy breakfast: This will help you stay energized and feel good. Find breakfast ideas here. Anxious to get to the store? Try one of these grab-and-go breakfast choices.
  • Pack water and portable snacks:  Having water, snacks and maybe even lunch packed will help you maintain your stamina, save you time and money, and prevent you from opting for unhealthier food options. Find snack ideas here.

While out shopping…

  • Park at the far end of the parking lot. This will help you get more walking in, especially if you’re bringing a few loads of bags back to your car during the course of the day.
  • Take a lap around the store before you start shopping to get some extra steps.
  • Avoid the crowded escalators and elevators and take the stairs—and rack up more steps in the process.
  • Get exercise while waiting in line: If you’re shopping with a buddy, take turns getting active. Leave your friend holding your places in line waiting to check out, and you go take a lap around the store or a floor of the mall. Then switch places, so you each get a little physical activity. Shopping solo or don’t want to leave your crew? Keep your heart rate and energy up by walking in place instead of simply standing.
  • Work your core while waiting, too. Tense your ab muscles and pull your belly button in toward your spine. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds, then release. Rest for 30 to 45 seconds and repeat for 5 to 10 reps.

When back at home…

  • Do some reps of shoulder razors with the shopping bags as you unload your car at home after going shopping.
  • Make multiple trips when unloading the car rather than trying to carry everything at once–this gives your legs a little extra exercise.
  • When you get inside, bicep-curl or concentration curl your bags. Use your shopping bags as weights and do a few bicep curls to strengthen your muscles!
  • Unpacking your bags? Squat down rather than bend over to take your items out.