The arrival of winter doesn’t mean your daily fitness routine needs to change. Instead, lace up your sneakers and take your walk indoors to a local mall. Neighborhoods and parks are popular places for fitness during warmer weather, but the CDC notes the second-most popular place for walking among exercisers of all ages is the mall.
No matter your fitness endeavors, malls provide a secure, well-lit, and social atmosphere for fitness, making it suitable for walkers of all fitness levels. Though you’re indoors, mall walking provides the same beneficial health aspects as walking outdoors or in a gym would.
“Depending on what your exercise goals are walking can be a beneficial form of exercise,” Jeff Cwynar, president of Pro Fitness Plus of New Castle, Inc., New Castle, Pennsylvania, says. “Walking may be intense enough to get the heart rate up and burn calories. Mostly everyone can walk; all you have to do it start.” Need more inspiration? Here are 15 benefits of walking.
Prevention suggests walking for at least 30 minutes each day, and if you wish to lose weight walking, you should increase that time to 45 to 60 minutes daily. If you’re strapped for time, you can break your walking up into segments of 10 to 15 minutes each or schedule your walking depending on how much time you have.
Before beginning your mall walking, Prevention suggests contacting your local mall to see if they have a mall walking program in place or if doors open early for walkers. If you wish to avoid the heavy crowds of shoppers, you can ask your local mall when a good time for walking might be.
In order to get the most health and fitness benefits from your mall walking, Prevention advises to walk at a normal pace for five to seven minutes to warm up and then increase the intensity. Walk at a pace that’s comfortable but quick and work towards increasing your speed over time.
“Stay motivated to continue your exercise routine by getting a workout partner or setting a goal of achieving a certain amount of time or distance covered per week,” Cwynar says. “Try to increase your intensity, time, distance, speed, and frequency as you continue.”