Christmas is all about giving gifts to the ones you love and obviously, endless trips to the shops. If this is eating into your allocated gym slot, why not make the most of this imposed shopping spree?

Metro talks to celebrity trainer Ramona Braganza and gets the top tips on how to turn Christmas shopping into a fabulous workout. Simply minus the gingerbread latte.

Weight it out

Carry all your shopping bags.

The extra weight you carry around will provide you with a great arm workout, perfect for toning and strengthening.

Make sure you have a good stretch before you shop; arm circles and neck rolls will avoid you feeling strained through there the day after.

Muscles for wheels
Avoid jumping on every bus in sight to get you to your shopping destination of choice.

When possible, walk or ride your bike into town. As you walk from store toston do some intervals of fast and slow pace, which will act as a mini workout.

Wear a heart rate monitor that counts calories and see how many calories you burn, and if you can push yourself harder next time.

Ode to oxygen
Avoid the stuffy air of a shopping mall, preferring the outdoors.

The cold weather will keep your metabolism going and the fresh air will oxygenate your lungs.
Don’t buy everything in one go.

Going up and down the same street several times to go back and get an item will force you into doing some extra walking.

Shops are designed to make things easy for their customers, escalators being fitted inside nearly very single store.

Why not try take the stairs instead — carry your bags and you will double your workout efforts.

Stay in motion
The repetitive sitting and standing up motion of shopping, whether trying on shoes or clothes is a similar motion to that of a squat.

If you are waiting in line for a purchase do some core training.

Pull your bellybutton into your spine as you stand there.

Hold for three seconds then release. Repeat this 10 times (the queue tends to be long).

Fuel up

Avoid the mid afternoon slump (more like chocolate craving) that will inevitably undo all your hard work.

Instead, pack some snacks in your handbag, such as nuts or dried fruit you can nibble on throughout the day.

Drink a litre or two of water whilst you are out shopping.

Staying hydrated boosts your metabolism and keeps all systems in your body functioning at optimum performance.

Health tip
One cup of chopped red peppers provides 190 mg of vitamin C--more than twice the amount found in an orange--which raises levels of immune-protecting natural killer cells.

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