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How to burn a few extra calories during the busy holiday season

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The holiday season tends to bring out the best in people, but it also tends to bring on extra stress as well. The hustle and bustle of shopping for presents, going from store to store looking for specific items that you can never seem to find when you need them, last minute shopping for that one thing you forgot to get, dealing with long lines, crowds. Not to mention still going about your normal daily life- going to work, taking care of the kids, chores. Who has time to exercise, right? Well here are some ways you can sneak in some extra exercise during this busy time of year.

1. Go to a large mall- whether or not you have an idea of what you want to buy and for whom, hitting a large mall not only raises the chances of you finding something for everyone, but you won't even realize the amount of walking you will be doing! Walking a large mall for hours on end will definitely burn off some unwanted calories. And if this large mall has a choice of stairs, escalators and/or elevators, opt for the stairs.

2. Park far away- people tend to want the closest parking spot available. Understandably so, considering the busy and hectic lives people lead, especially during the holiday season. However, if you park farther away, you will undoubtedly be squeezing in extra walks into your day.

By the way, generally speaking, if you park at a distant parking spot and walk an extra minute to and from your destination only twice a day, at the end of the month you will have walked an extra 112 minutes, or one hour and 52 minutes!

3. Clean the house- if you were going to forgo the pre-guest and/or post-guest cleaning this time around, you may want to rethink that. The calories burned doing household chores can really add up. For example, scrubbing the bath burns about 200 calories for 30 minutes. Cleaning windows for 30 minutes burns 125 calories. And last but not least, vacuuming burns about 90 calories after 30 minutes.

While these suggestions may seem silly or insignificant, it's something that is feasible to not only the average holiday shopper, but to anyone- even someone who leads a typical hectic and busy life. After all, an extra 112 minutes of walking a month is better than nothing. Happy holidays!

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