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Active Matters

Dec 12 2012

Build Your Stamina and Shop Till You Drop

by Heather McKim

We all know that with the holiday season comes the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping. Are you up to the challenge this December? We’ve put our top tips together to get your stamina up and ready to hit the shops

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  1. The Need for Speed.
  2. To make sure you get from shop to shop as quickly as possible use interval training and reduce your rest time between sets.
    For example: 10 sets of 30 second intervals (on the treadmill/rower/crosstrainer) with 20 rest, reduce to 15 seconds rest the next time you do it and 10 seconds rest the time after and so on.

  3. Get ready to Power Shop.
  4. To get you ready for the powerwalking, stairs and escalators put exercises together and try a 'Tri-set'.
    Do 3 exercises of the same body part in a row -3 legs or 3 chest or 3 back or 3 arms- and no rest between exercises. Try two sets of each mini circuit the first few times you do it and then progress to three sets.

  5. The Christmas Toblerone
  6. Just like a Christmas Toblerone, pyramid training can help to sustain stamina. Here’s how it works:
    1. Choose the exercise you wish to improve (walking, running, rowing, squats, press ups)
    2. Start at 12 reps with a moderate weight. Then  put the weight up while reducing reps by 2 until you reach zero reps.
    3. Now make your way back to 12 reps, decreasing the weight back down.

Spin classes at Virgin Active Health Clubs
  1. The Shop to Shop Shuffle.

    You know you’ll be running back and forth to the shops so why not get used to the repetition by doing the same workout 3 times in a week. The 'use it to improve it' principle applies here. Don't vary your workout too much. If you want to improve stamina on a certain aspect of your workout...do it repeatedly for a 2 week period before changing it up.

  2. Do it with a friend.

    Get a leg up on other shoppers by training with a person who is fitter than you. Lots of research points to the improvement in performance when you workout with a partner. The concept is called 'social facilitation theory'.  You will subconsciously try to keep up with the fitter person while they will always try to keep ahead of you. Win win.

    Happy holiday shopping!