A blog by runners. For runners.

Black Friday Shopping Not Worth Change in Routine

If you live in the United States, chances are you've seen ads on TV and your computer weeks before Thanksgiving about Black Friday. I can understand the urge to get great deals, but I've had my own unique Black Friday experiences in the past. These experiences don't exactly make me eager to rush out shopping in the middle of the night. Unlike years past, this year many stores opened at midnight today. There has been a lot of controversy surrounding earlier openings, as many feel store workers should be spending this extra time with family and not setting up for Black Friday sales. I considered going out into the madness before work, because I like to get my holiday shopping done early. However, I thought about my experience last year and decided not to.
On Thanksgiving Day, it is likely you ate more food than usual. This is especially true for me, as I had a full meal prior to seeing Twilight with my sister. Of course, we ordered a small bag of popcorn and shared some M&Ms throughout the movie. Today, I am still feeling stuffed and guilty from yesterday's holiday meal and snacks.
What happens when I go Black Friday shopping? Well, I went last year with my family and we left the house around 4AM. We got our calorie-filled Starbucks and headed to the stores. By 6AM, we were starving as we had already been up for two hours. We ordered Subway sandwiches in a Wal-Mart at about 6:15 in the morning.

Of course, running through stores and being on your feet all day burns some calories, but it doesn't do much for your body when you are thrown off schedule. My sister and I still talk about how weird it was that we were hungry for actual food by six in the morning. Not just any kind of food, but lunch at six in the morning. At this time on a normal day, we wouldn't even be out of bed yet. According to Harvard Medical School's Health Publications, “Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite” (“Importance of Sleep: Six Reasons Not to Scrimp on Sleep.” Harvard Health Publications. Harvard Medical School, Jan. 2006. Web.).
If we add it all up, there were certainly more calories taken in than burned that day. Typically we won't splurge on a specialty coffee with lots of calories. This year, I skipped the Black Friday deals and plan to do some online shopping after work. Last year, I pushed through crowds and witnessed people fighting for $3 Wal-Mart children's pajamas. The image on this blog is proof of that scene. I'm happy to stick to my regular schedule, and not risk skipping my workout due to tiredness from getting up early for Black Friday shopping.
Black Friday shopping can be a fun and exciting family tradition. However, I find that when you have a full-time job or a busy life, scheduling is very important. I don't want to sound like a Grinch, but this year the early holiday sales just weren't for me. I am excited to do someone online shopping and decorate my home for the holidays while listening to Christmas music. And of course, getting a run in at the end of the day!
Looking for a great holiday gift? Check out the WalkJogRun tech tees (sold out). These are perfect for running or lounging around on a Sunday afternoon. What better gift for a runner than the WalkJogRun app? Simply click “Gift this App” in the App Store. With our app update coming out in January, this is a great idea for anyone looking to get fit or stay in shape!
Did you go Black Friday shopping this year? What kind of holiday traditions does your family have?