For many people, the 2020 holiday season involves staying home and adding items to an online shopping cart. However, you may still need to stop into one or more stores to pick up an online order or complete your gift-giving list. Holiday shopping can help you reach your daily fitness goals if you use these five tips for getting in more steps during your visits to the stores.


1. Go to Stores in Walking Distance


If you live in the downtown area of a city or within one mile of a shopping center, consider walking to the places where you plan to purchase gifts. This works best if you’re properly dressed for any wintry weather and when you’re shopping for small items, such as a book or a gift card. If you live just one mile from the store, you’ll get about 4,000 steps walking there and back.


2. Park As Far Away As Possible


When walking to the store isn’t an option, use the large parking lots at shopping centers and big box stores to help you reach your daily step goal. Instead of driving round and round to get the closest spot, park as far away from the entrance as possible. People with ambulation difficulties or small children will appreciate the availability of a closer spot. By parking far away from the store entrance, you’ll easily get several hundred steps going between your vehicle and the store’s doors.


3. Do an Extra Lap Around the Store


Whether you’re shopping at the big box crafts store for ribbon or you’ve made a last-minute trip to the grocery store for perishable food for your holiday meal, walking an extra lap around the perimeter of the store will yield additional steps. You may prefer to do this when the store is less crowded, such as early in the morning or late in the evening. The climate-controlled environment may be more comfortable to walk in than the outdoors on a cold winter day.


4. Walk the Mall Before Shopping


Mall walking isn’t just for seniors. Most malls open their doors about an hour before the individual stores open. Plan to arrive when the mall opens. If you walk at a moderate pace for one hour, you could easily walk three miles before you start your shopping.


5. Put 10 Carts Away


If you’ve ever had your car hit by a rogue shopping cart, you know the frustration of a damaged paint job. Before getting in the driver’s seat and heading home after grocery shopping or a quick stop for gift-wrapping supplies, spend a few minutes rounding up the loose carts in the parking lot. Push them into the cart corral, or better yet, into the store. Even if you’re not paid to do it, think of this as saving someone’s car from getting hit. You’ll also get lots of steps putting the carts away.