Burn It Off: How Many Mall Laps to Undo a Cinnabon?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Do you plan to hit the mall for some deals this Black Friday? Well, be prepared for large crowds and long lines that will keep you there much longer than you anticipate. But even more worrisome than the lines is the mall food itself! It's hard to resist the wafting smells of freshly baked soft pretzels, cookies and cinnamon rolls that are as much a part of the mall as the department stores. And when you're tired, hungry, and stressed out during a long day of bargain hunting, these sweet comfort foods can be pretty tempting. In a moment of weakness, you give in and order a Cinnabon. Just how much damage will one Cinnabon Classic Cinnamon Roll do? Find out how many laps you'd have to walk around the mall to undo this gooey treat.

The Cinnabon website doesn't disclose its calorie information. But a quick Google search will turn up over a dozen calorie counting websites that all say the same thing: One Classic Cinnabon Roll contains a not-so-sweet 730 calories and 24 grams of fat. It's sweet, gooey and, well, big—and it's got the calories to prove it!

Now the number of laps you'd have to walk around your local mall is going to vary since all malls are different sizes and shapes. You can actually call your mall customer service desk to find out the exact distance, because most malls offer indoor fitness walking programs. My research found that one mall lap could vary from 1/4 to 2/3 of a mile on average. To be conservative, let's say that one mall lap is equal to a quarter mile. And if you're walking through the mall on Black Friday, you can't exact speed walk around the people. Your pace will have to be pretty slow.

According to SparkPeople.com's Fitness Tracker, a 150-pound woman who walks a comfortable 20-minute mile pace (3 mph) will burn 20 calories per quarter mile (one mall lap). To burn off that Cinnabon, you'd have to circle the entire mall 36.5 times, which is just over 9 miles! (And that'd take 3 hours by the way.)

This brings up an interesting point that I like to make. "Activity" is not the same as "exercise." Your feet and back may hurt from a day of shopping, but that's more a reflection of being on your feet, wearing uncomfortable shoes, and poor posture than it is a reflection of the "intensity" of your day. Shopping surely doesn't justify the extra calories in something like a Cinnabon—not on Black Friday or any other day!

Do you think 3 hours of walking is worth the momentary pleasure of eating a Cinnabon? Better yet, do you have any tips to avoid mall food (or make it healthier)?