Why is shopping such a pain?
Did you know that Milton Keynes shopping centre is about 0.5 miles long?
That’s 2000 steps if you walk to the end and back, burning 84 calories for women or 100 calories for men – quite a good workout.
A painful experience?
Most people will take at least one shopping trip around this time of year but for many people this can be a painful experience. Shopping or queueing can bring on back pain. This could be for lots of reasons. You are more likely to get pain if shopping is an unenjoyable or stressful experience for you. For many people shopping is one of their longest exercise activities so it is not surprising that you can experience muscle discomfort. Shopping is a strange kind of walking – a slower pace than normal and lots of stopping and starting which may make it more tiring. Carrying heavy bags will increase the load that your muscles are carrying – a nice strength exercise but it may make you tire more quickly.
And not to mention queueing….
Queueing is another challenge for shoppers. Not just because it tries your patience but also many people experience back pain queueing. This is again, because your muscles get tired.
(There is a back condition called spinal stenosis which can cause you to experience pain in your legs after walking a distance which is soon relieved by a rest.)
Here’s some tips to help…
First of all remember that you won’t have done any damage, your body is just telling you it is tired. Exercising more regularly can increase your endurance for walking and standing – maybe that means more frequent shopping trips or simply getting out for a walk more often.
Take a break – if you are on a long shopping trip, plan some breaks. Just sit down for a few minutes or have a coffee to provide some welcome rest. If you are in pain sit down and do a few stretches – leaning from side to side, arching and hollowing your back.
Change your posture – if you are carrying a bag whilst shopping, swap sides to change your posture. Think about keeping your back relaxed from time to time. Standing in a queue try to change your posture by standing with your feet in different positions, shifting your weight between legs and wriggling your back side to side and forwards and backwards.
Don’t forget to keep hydrated and if you enjoy the experience it is less likely to be painful! Happy shopping!