The hidden health benefits of shopping

While we understand that a lot of people have holiday fatigue and maybe even hate the craze of shopping during the festive season, we found some good news for you. We hope you appreciate our positive spin on looking at what some see as a grueling task during the holidays…

Santa’s making his list and checking it twice, and you probably are, too! Well, we’ve got some great news for you this holiday season. Shopping is fantastic for your health— you can quote us on that! 

Don’t go swiping your credit card just yet! Keep reading to find out about the mental and physical benefits of shopping and a few words of warning to keep your savings account health in check, too! 

Shopping boosts your mental health 

You’ve probably joked about “retail therapy” while shopping, but it’s a real thing! 

You don’t even need to take your wallet to experience the dopamine-boosting power of shopping. Even window shopping can increase the neurotransmitter responsible for pleasure and positive thinking. 

Shopping can be a great way to escape a personal or professional rut. When you’re checking items off a shopping list, you shift your focus from your worries to completing a task. By choosing items, you can step out of a cycle of indecision, empowering yourself to take control of your situation.

Physical health benefits of shopping

The farmer’s walk is a strength and conditioning exercise that targets nearly all the major muscle groups and burns fat. To do this exercise, you’ll carry a heavy load in each hand and walk a designated distance. Sound familiar? That’s basically every trip to the grocery store. 

To get the physical benefits of shopping, park your car at the back of the lot and walk your groceries to your car, walk down the street before getting an Uber home, or walk all the way home.

Before the e-commerce boom, a 2013 study showed that women burn an average of 15,000 calories while shopping every year. That’s thanks to approximately 180 miles (the equivalent of seven marathons) of walking between shops. Go retro and shop in person to reap all the physical health benefits of shopping. 

If you’re going to burn through some cash, you might as well burn some fat while you do it!

Tips for maximizing the benefits of shopping

Now for the reality check. We are not suggesting that you blow your rent check on impulse buys or things you don’t actually need. Here’s how you can enjoy the benefits of shopping and avoid buyer’s remorse: 

  • Set a budget – You may even want to bring cash shopping, so when it’s gone, it’s gone. 
  • Avoid shopping online – Not only will shopping in person allow you to support local shops, but you’ll also get your steps in and benefit from carrying your purchases. 
  • Bring a friend – Social time can boost the mental health benefits of shopping and help you avoid unnecessary purchases.
  • Donate – Avoid clutter and help someone in need by donating gently used items you no longer need. 

Practicing mindful, intentional shopping during the holidays can ensure that it really is the most wonderful time of the year.

After spending the day carrying heavy bags, join an Enhanced Pilates class at Enhancewell Fitness to get a full-body workout in a low-impact class. 

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