When I received the email from my editor saying that this month’s theme is health, sports and recreation, my mind went numb. This is really an issue that I have never liked and the only thing closest to sports in my life is walking (see last month’s issue). 

Shopping could be the form of consumerism but what is about sport shopper where you could use the moment as an exercise?

So I decided to leave it and push this article really close to the deadline in order to find inspiration. Heck! I even when to London and Dublin to find the inspiration on what to write this month. And then it hit me! Shopping is the one thing that combines sports and recreation at the same time. Health, well,  is a different matter!

For the longest time, shopping has been one of my favourite activities not only for stress release, but also to learn more about marketing, fashion, trends, design, and market behaviour. Furthermore, there is actually a science that places shopping as a sport. Imagine that you only have one hour to spend at the mall and you have to do everything from grocery shopping, banking, to visit the Hermes private sale that is ending soon. 

It is time to quicken your pace and strategise as your adrenalin starts racing. That one hour is the only opportunity to have before going back to the office for an international conference call. In this situation, shopping is a pursuit akin to an athletic competition. Those who engage is this activity are whom I call ‘sports shoppers.’

Unlike the classic ‘sale hunter’, these sports shoppers can definitely afford to pay full price, but they are upping the ante by looking for the best deal. Then again, what is the fun of paying full price for Hermes products, when you are actually receiving (secret) invitations to their annual sale at one of the five star hotels at Thamrin’s roundabout?

To get things done according to their time frame and achieving their objective is almost like getting trophies for all their hard work. While a runner might train for a race, building up to the race’s distance and mapping the route, a sports shopper will get to know the layout of a department store, observe merchandising patterns and plan a shopping trip based on how much time she has before going shopping.

Jakarta is pretty much a haven for these sports shoppers who love luxury fashion brands as they have quite an amazing sale opportunity at least twice a year. Of course, it is also important to know the timing of the sale event so that you won’t miss out. Near big holidays such as Eid or Christmas have always led to this kind of events, as well as mall anniversary events which are usually celebrated with midnight sale opportunities.

At the mall, 'sale' season usually make people explore more stores to check aout the discounts, which will require more steps of walking around the mall. Photo by Erza S.T./NOW!JAKARTA

To be a sports shopper, in my opinion, is really the best way to burn calories without really feeling it. One of the important things to remember that smart sports shoppers are not buying out of emotion but out of necessity and using a strategy. Emotional shopping often leads to disappointment as we don’t really need the things we purchase most of the time.

Having said that, I know it is not easy to do, especially if you are at Hermes or Fendi private sale where every item there seems to call out: “Buy Me! Buy Me!”

As a sports shopper, you will experience the same adrenalin rush that any athlete might have. The release of adrenaline, a stress hormone, is our body’s natural response to a situation. When adrenaline is released into our bodies, blood flows to the muscles and powers the conversation of glycogen into glucose (used to fuel our bodies) and therefore we experience a rush of energy.

This situation will follow with the release of hormones such as dopamine, catecholamine and norepinephrine that are known as ‘feel good hormones’- simply because they actually make us feel positive.

So next time you go on shopping, perhaps you can plan it first so that not only you get the best deal items but also burning a few calories at the same time. Who said that you can’t get healthy, while shopping?



This article is originally from paper. Read NOW!Jakarta Magazine July 2018 issue “Health in a Era of Urbanisation”. Available at selected bookstore or SUBSCRIBE here.

Erza S.T.

Erza S.T.

Erza S.T. is the founder of Indonesia Opera Society and has helped contribute to the citys classical music scene. An avid traveller, he writes about his forays around the world for NOW! Jakartas travel section.