Do Shopping Marathons Qualify as Exercise?

Do shopping marathons qualify as exercise? I think so. Just like 5k training, they require planning, goals, motivation, comfortable shoes, strategy, selectivity, focus, competition, stamina, strength, resilience, aggression, and great eye candy.

Great steals — Ann Arbor

Planning makes it easier to focus and get down to business. Without a workout plan, I spend way too much time deciding which exercises to do. The same is true with shopping marathons. Planning where I’m shopping and what I’m shopping for saves me. Important note: plan flexibility is required for deviation, detours, and impulsive behavior — for 5k training sessions and shopping marathons —  especially when one lives north of the “D”.

Motivation is a direct link to making work outs and shopping marathons successful. Something clicks in my head. It pushes me to kick-ass on the elliptical or 5k course. When I have my shopping groove on, I wake up feeling a rush of adrenaline in my veins. I know achievement is at hand.

Sparkly resale find — New Hope, Penn.

Comfortable shoes are critical for sprinting and getting to all the must-have deals before my competition does. Shopping marathons are not for the weak and feeble. Proper foot attire is necessary for speed walking, standing for long hours, kicking competitive shoppers in the shins — just kidding — and avoiding fashion faux pas.

Strategy is different from a plan. I define strategy as a methodology for ensuring plan success. When I play tennis, it involves opponent assessment, shot placement, and skill inventory. Shopping marathons require store layout assessment, merchandise knowledge, wish list prioritization, time management, competitive shopper analysis, personal shopper recruitment, checkout line comparison, and exit preparation.

Selectivity or prioritization enables me to complete timely workouts and saves me from overworking muscle groups. This ideology saves time and money during shopping marathons.

Butterfly bling — Dragonfly Boutique — Rochester, Mich.

Focus means unwavering drive to achieve or acquire. Having met my winter goal of running five miles in 30 minutes on my elliptical, I am now on task to win some 5ks. All of my work outs are centered around achieving this goal. During a shopping marathon, I am focused on acquiring items from my ever-changing wishlist. I do my best not to exit the store until my list is maxed out. But, my children often cause my memory to fail. This means I forget stuff and repeat visits to fave stores are necessary.

Competition is a healthy part of any fitness regimen or shopping marathon. It is expected. A competitive exercise program makes fitness fun. Hesitation to grab one-of-a-kind treasures is sure to kill a shopping marathon before it even gets started.

Ooh la la la — Dragonfly Boutique — Rochester, Mich.

Stamina builds over time. For example, I was huffing and puffing after five minutes on my elliptical 10 years ago. On Monday, I ran a practice 5k in 30 minutes. At Parisian’s Mother’s Day sale, I entered the store at 10 am and exited at 3:30 pm. I could have lasted another five hours.

Strength also gains when exercise is consistent, practiced and frequent. Shopping marathons are labor intensive and may require heavy lifting.

Resilience is especially important during Zumba classes. For a visual think Elaine from Seinfeld. Shopping marathons — especially ones involving bathing suits — require a tough, resilient attitude. I keep looking and trying stuff on. In the end, I usually find something dazzling. If not, I try again on a different day or after a few spicy rum lemonades.

Aggression fuels my workouts. I translate daily stress into lengthy walks around my neighborhood, positive interval training, and tough-as-nails cardio-kickboxing sessions. Stress and aggression need healthy outlets. Blocking competitive shoppers, keeping a place in the checkout line, and asking for store assistance all take some finesse. 

A must-have — Plain 'n' Fancy — Rochester, Mich.

Great eye candy makes any workout better. I burn hundreds of extra calories on the elliptical while watching movies starring Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Johnny Depp or Leonardo DiCaprio. Whatever works, right? Shopping marathons are all about great eye candy. The more the merrier. After taking a few moments to take in all the must-have goodies, my mind clears and I am on-task to accomplish my mission.

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5 thoughts on “Do Shopping Marathons Qualify as Exercise?

  1. bigsheepcommunications says:

    I’m humbled by your shopping commitment. The very idea of going to the mall drains me of all physical and emotional energy. Thank goodness for online shopping!

    • @ Lisa – While I love shopping for clothing and accessories, I don’t like indoor malls. The two Parisian stores I frequent are located at pedestrian malls. Like, you, online shopping is divine. That gets me in big trouble late, late at night when the children, husband and dog are all asleep. It’s such a boost to get a big or little box of something special at the door 😉

  2. I say that a shopping marathon definitely counts as exercise. I’ll go one step further and say that window shopping to plan for an event even qualifies. (12) and I spent hours yesterday planning purchases for her birthday party, getting invitation orders together and putting together a gift registry. It was exhausting!

    • @ Thypolar – I am with you on the window shopping. Many times that component is not only necessary but a fun part of the planning stages of an event, shopping marathon, or night on the town with my husband. When I window shop with him, I use window shopping as a way to see what catches his eye and to drop hints for upcoming gift exchanges. Good luck on that big birthday in your near future.

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