How to turn Black Friday into cardio heaven

Living Well

Anyone choosing to shop on Black Friday knows it can be… an experience. Waiting in line in the cold, running between tenacious shoppers (who really need that dollhouse this instant), and even playing parking lot chicken for a spot. Any spot.

But it doesn't have to be all bad, if look at this as a chance to work out! If you play your cards right you can actually turn a Black Friday grind into a decent cardio workout, while chipping away at the holiday gift list.

Now, these tips are coming from a fellow Black Friday shopper and occasional gym rat. If you plan on doing any physical activity above your usual level, always check with a qualified medical professional. (Yes, even if your annual workout occurs at Target, take the right precautions!)

Ready, set -- go shop!

Before you even head out, it's a good idea to do a little stretching. Take a few pre-workout precautions like maybe wearing some compression socks, and even packing some precautionary pain relief.

Sure the goal of the day is to buy gifts for your favorite people. But if you've tuned into to any Black Friday footage from the beginning of time, you know it gets physical fast. For example, if you get stuck parking at the back end of the cold, dark parking lot, see it as a cardio opportunity and map a quick sprint to the line at the door.

If you're too far away, break the run into two or more smaller wind sprints, giving yourself quick breathers in between.

The idea is to get to the front door quicker and get that heart rate up as part one of your midnight cardio regimen.

Keep track of your mileage

If you're really going all in on Black Friday, you'll be hitting stores with massive square footage, like at long shopping centers, or maybe even a good ol' multilevel mall.

You can use a pedometer, a fitness smartwatch, a smartphone app, or maybe just a rough estimate in your head, but it's easy to keep track of how much you're walking that day.

It may not feel like a lot, but walking is a great low-impact cardio workout. And feel free to give yourself bonus points for carrying a bunch of heavy bags while zigzagging around aisles and mobs like the most stressful obstacle course of all time.

When the day's done, you'll be worn out from a workout that would impress any trainer.

Of course, you might want to make use of a new round of pain relief and some orthopedic supports and ice packs for your knees. Also consider a raw steak in case your store turns into a boxing match. You might get a black eye -- but you'll be a Black Friday viral hit (pun intended).

And if that isn't the true spirit of health and holiday cheer, we don't know what is.

Compression Socks

Keep your circulation sharp with compression socks for all shapes and sizes.

Ice Packs

Practice the "I" in RICE method with all of the FSA-eligible ice packs.

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