Work your core and credit card – exercise while shopping

Here's how you could burn your way through up to 800 calories during an average shopping expedition.

Carrie Bradshaw in a scene from the HBO series, Sex and the City. Courtesy HBO
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Wasn't it Sex and the City's Carrie Bradshaw (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) who said that she couldn't make the switch to shopping online because visiting all those stores was her cardio workout? Well, she was ahead of her time, because shopping workouts have become the latest exercise fad, with hundreds of fitness fanatics squatting, curling and pressing their way around their favourite shops and supermarkets in an attempt to stay fit.

In fact, if you join this bunch of clued-in shoppers, you could be burning your way through up to 800 calories during an average shopping expedition. That means twice-weekly shoppers can burn 1,600 calories a week, or 83,200 calories per year. Experts from the British shopping website Promotional Codes have come up with a few cool exercises for those who want to feel the burn while indulging in retail therapy.

Squats – bending to the bottom shelf

Instead of bending over to reach the lower shelved items in the supermarket, try sitting back into a squat for 10 minutes.

• Calories burnt: 51 calories (or one cookie)

Calf raises – reaching up to the top shelf

When reaching for items on the top shelves, do some calf raises to strengthen the backs of your legs and shoulders. The 10-minute exercise will also tone your calves.

• Calories burnt: 34 calories (or a single piece of treacle toffee)

Arm curls with tinned food

Arm curls aren’t only for lifting heavy weights in the gym. Pick up a couple of tins (opt for the heavy ones) and pump away for 10 minutes to improve your posture while strengthening and toning your arms.

• Calories burnt: 80 calories (or a chocolate digestive biscuit)

Lunge – push the trolley

Pushing a trolley around for an average 40-minute shop burns up to 160 calories. However, to help tone your legs, thighs and quadriceps, try performing lunges while walking around the supermarket; use your shopping trolley to lean against. Filling it up first with the week’s groceries will offer more resistance (and therefore burn more calories).

• Calories burnt: 317 (or one cheeseburger)

Side lunges – reach into the chiller cabinet

Side lunges are a great exercise for working your side abdominals, thighs, bum and hamstrings all at the same time. This doesn’t burn a lot of calories but is great for toning those muscles. Just don’t try it on a busy day at the local hypermarket.

• Calories burnt: 20 calories (or one mint)

Leg raises while browsing

Leg raises work your thighs and quads. Try it out while in the queue at a checkout counter or browsing items. It also does wonders for your core stability and balance. For a tougher workout, try lifting your legs up as high as you can to crunch your abs at the same time.

• Calories burnt: 70 calories (or a scoop of vanilla ice cream)

Arm raises with bottles of water

Arm raises with bottles of water is a great alternative to lifting dumb-bells in the gym and will tone your biceps a treat. Get more out of this exercise over a period of time – gradually swap smaller bottles for bigger ones.

• Calories burnt: 105 calories (or quarter of a box of chocolates)