As you wait for the start, you do some preliminary stretches and warm up. You look around, sizing up the competition—amateurs. You have so got this! It’s almost time now: three, two, one, and you’re off!
Where are you? Your local warehouse store, of course.
If someone had told me pre-kids that I’d be one of those people lined up outside a warehouse club before they open, I’d have laughed. In fact, I was never a member of a warehouse club before I met hubby, whose meals before me included such delights as microwavable hamburgers and frozen burritos. But love it or hate it, at some point, we all end up there. And if we’re lucky, we end up there in the early morning on a weekday before it gets overly crowded, battling retirees for the first-place spot.
I’ve not only accepted this about my life, I’ve decided to embrace it. These warehouse clubs can be a real bargain, not only for their gallon-sized vats of peanut butter, but also because a shopping trip there is like a workout. Who needs an expensive gym membership? Just follow my handy exercise tips and you’ll be looking fit in time for bathing suit season (by the way, they have bathing suits at a great price right now).
Cart Warm-up: Trying to separate a stuck shopping cart from the row provides all the warm-up you need, but if you’d like more, lift a child into the safety seat and then get in some stretching as you hunt for both sides of the safety strap. If you’re lucky, there won’t be one in the first few carts you try and you’ll get to do several reps. Later, as your cart gets heavier while you shop, you can incorporate lunges to get the leverage you need to push it forward.
Opening 50-yard Dash: When the big metal door goes up, sprint past the retirees to get your cardio started right. If there’s something really cool by the front door, you can always come back on your way to the check out.
Squats and Lifts: Remember to lift heavy objects like the 4-pack of pickle jars with your knees, and take full advantage of this opportunity to get in some squats. Continue the upward motion with your arms, and then slowly bring your arms down, feeling the burn, as you place them carefully in your cart.
Toilet Paper Yoga: Practice your calming breathing and balance by removing one giant package of toilet paper without upsetting the tower carefully constructed by the club employees. Continue using your calm focus as you figure out how to fit it in or under the cart.
Cute Cardio: Those kids’ clothes are SOOOO cute, but you can’t find the size you need for your child. Take advantage and work in some cardio as you un-stack and re-stack the merchandise until you find the right size! You can also fit in some cardio racing other shoppers to the sample stations (your kid will last a lot longer if he tries some of whatever that is) and, eventually, to the shortest check-out line.
Cart Cool-down: Conclude your workout by transferring items to your car, lifting your child(ren) out of the cart and into their carseats, and returning the cart (do NOT skip that part of the workout!!).
There you have it—a workout Jillian Michaels would be proud of without the cost of a gym membership, plus you got your family the peanut butter and toilet paper they so desperately needed. You’re welcome.
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