Grocery Store Workout

Squeezing a workout into my day can be hard at the best of times, but when grocery day comes along, it’s next to impossible. Or so I thought.

On a recent trip to the grocery store with my 3-year-old I quickly discovered how I had incorporated a workout into our trip without even realizing it. A little fine tuning and now I have The Grocery Store Workout. And because I’m the sharing type, I’m going to let you in on my fabulous new routine, absolutely free (did that sound infomercial-y enough).


Dis-Organize Your List – If you’re the type to make a grocery list, you probably try to group everything into sections: fruits and vegetables, dairy, bread, meat, frozen, other, etc. The first step to the Grocery Store Workout is to stop being so organized. Instead write your list randomly and stick to it. So you start with milk (have you ever noticed this is usually the product furthest from the door), then walk all the way back to get a bag of oranges, then over to grab some frozen carrots and back to get bread…You see where I’m going, all over the place. You’ll get quite the workout just walking back and forth through the store.

Grab the Overstock – You know all stores have overstock shelves. These are usually the top shelves where extra product is stored for quick reshelving. Forget picking up the easily accessible chicken broth in front of you. Instead reach up, way up, to the overstock shelf to get the same product. Climbing up the shelves is a bonus workout.

Use the child – When I go shopping I usually have my 3-year-old in tow (I plan my trip when my two oldest are in school for obvious reasons). Like most preschoolers, my daughter is going through her defiant stage, better known as the ‘whatever mom wants me to do, I’ll do the opposite’ stage. I know, cute right? We usually start the trip with her wanting to walk and help, then she gets tired and wants to sit in the cart only to revert back to walking 5-minutes later. You would be amazed at how heavy a 3-year-old is, especially when you’re trying to wrestle her in and out of those shopping cart seats. Forget cursing under your breath when your child asks to get out of or in the cart for the tenth time. Instead, imagine the great upper arm workout you’re getting.

Push the cart – You know there’s a cart in that stack of carts with a defective wheel. If you’re lucky like me, you’ll find  it without even looking. These carts are great to use as part of your workout since they always seem to pull to the left or right. It takes a great effort to keep your cart from ramming into the little old lady shuffling in front of you or the giant glass pickle bottle display on the corner of the aisle.

Last minute items – The best part of the Grocery Store Workout is the last minute item sprint. These are the items that, as you finish unloading the cart at the checkout, you realize you forgot to pick-up and you MUST have them (potato chips tend to fall in this category). This is where you make a mad dash through the store, dodging other shoppers, to get your missing item(s). This works best if you think about the disapproving looks you will get from the cashier and other customers should you take too long and keep them all waiting.

Follow this what should be a twenty-minute but more like an hour workout and you won’t feel bad about missing the gym or not getting to your workout video that day. Remember, you bought chips when you were out right? A perfect way to cool down. And eat one, breath out, eat two, breath out.

Happy Shopping!

2 responses to this post.

  1. I love it! I do most of these things on a regular basis, without thinking of it as a workout. Even when my list is organized, I find myself missing items (probably due to being asked 500 questions while we’re shopping) and going back. I ALWAYS get the cart with the defective wheel, you know, the one that sounds like train wheels clacking? All I need to do is change my way of thinking and remember that it’s exercise! 🙂


  2. […] kids are super tidy or don’t have toys, trying taking them grocery shopping. A trip to the grocery store can be a workout on its own (with or without kids). If you’re looking for more of a structured workout, checkout these […]


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