Eight Ways Shopping Can Be Healthy

Retail therapy is a stress reliever, helps improve problem solving skills and memory

Author: Patricia Bratianu RN PhD RH-AHG

I have exciting, fabulous news! Shopping can be healthy! Can you believe it! This is even better than learning that chocolate is good for us. I cannot wait to tell my shopaholic sisters about these findings. Here is the scoop.

Women have known for centuries that if they need a break, shopping provides a perfect pick me up. Well, researchers have finally figured that out too. Shopping can increase the release of dopamine and endorphins- the feel good neurotransmitters. These relieve depression and make us feel happy. Window shopping even does the trick.

Shopping can reduce stress, enhance problem solving skills and boost creativity. Sometimes just walking away from a problem is the key to solving it. You may have a Eureka moment while staring at the new shoes in your favorite store. Shopping can help you to “think outside of the box”. Relaxed people think better. If shopping relaxes you, it may help you to think.

Since shopping is a social event, it may help to promote longevity. Socialization prevents depression and resulting substance abuse that the elderly sometimes suffer from due to isolation. Socialization is important for people of all ages as most of us spend our days confined to jobs with people similar to us or at home with young children. Shopping broadens our horizons and helps us to appreciate diversity.

There is much to see while shopping. If you are looking to make purchases, you may need to make lists. List making keeps our brains sharp as we grow older.

While shopping may not be equivalent to participating in an Olympic event, it does promote exercise. Walking is one of the most beneficial activities that we can do. You may walk longer and further than you usually do if you are happily window shopping. Plus if there is a 15 minute special going on, you may sprint to get to the front of the line. Talk about aerobics!

There may be a swimsuit in the window which is calling your name. You want to look good in it so you make healthier food and lifestyle choices so you will wear it with confidence.

Even food shopping can be healthy. You learn about foods and products by seeing them. Some markets even offer samples with accompanying healthy recipes. You may choose to expand your culinary horizons by incorporating more nutritious fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet when you see them before you.

Your blood pressure may be reduced. If shopping is relaxing to you, your pulse rate and blood pressure may go down. Your circulation improves as you walk from store to store.

So now that you have proof that shopping is good for you, what are you waiting for? Go out and have fun!

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