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Shop to Drop Some Holiday Pounds

Posted by Joan Salge Blake  November 20, 2012 11:00 AM

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Photo: Flickr, Marc Samsom
Who knew that shopping was considered a form of physical activity?   It may not be a high-intensity aerobic workout but if you are pounding the pavement at the mall with a lengthy holiday shopping list, you could be burning a fair amount of calories.

According to the USDA’s SuperTracker, shopping, which includes both walking and standing in line (and unfortunately, could be lengthy this time of year), can cause you to burn about 200 calories an hour depending upon your weight.  While shopping is considered only a light-intensity activity, surprisingly, a three-hour shopping adventure can have you burning about 600 calories.  If you forgo the escalator and take the stairs to the second level of the mall, you will burn another 12 calories for every minute of climbing.

To find out how many calories you can burn while holiday shopping, go to the SuperTracker.  Set up your personal profile by entering your age, gender, and weight.   Then, click on “Physical Activity Tracker.”  Search for “shopping” and enter the amount of time, in minutes, that you were out and about.   Choose the day of the week and then click, “Add.”  The estimated calories that you burned for your shopping outing will appear.

Word of Caution:  Don’t shop on an empty stomach.  Appeasing a ravenous appetite at the mall food court could have you eating as much or even more calories than you burned shopping.  Eat a sensible meal before you leave the house. 

Follow Joan on Twitter at: joansalgeblake
Originally published on the blog Nutrition and You!.
This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

Joan Salge Blake, MS, RD, LDN, is a clinical associate professor and registered dietitian at Boston University in the Nutrition Program. Joan is the author of Nutrition &You, 2nd Edition, More »

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