Malls were created to make shopping more convenient, but there's no reason you can't use those long passage ways to help stay fit, too.
Climate control, cheerful lighting, and built-in security make malls a fantastic place to walk. Mall walking is just like any other exercise, so you’ll need to wear well-fitting shoes and socks and take any precautions recommended by your doctor. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Join the club. Many malls host walking clubs that provide perks such as free health screenings, rewards, and social support. If yours doesn’t, suggest that they check out the website of WalkSport (walksport.com)—the program used by Mall of America, the nation’s largest “retail and entertainment complex.”
Don’t weigh yourself down. Wear a coat that’s thin enough to tie around your waist or store in a locker so you won’t overheat. Instead of a heavy purse, carry essentials in a fanny pack. Include your ID, a diabetes ID card, emergency contact information, and necessary diabetes supplies—including glucose tablets and water.
Take your walk to the next level. Strolling at the mall burns about 150 calories per hour (based upon a 150-pound woman), but striding at “walking-the-dog” pace burns 47 more calories in the same time frame, so pick up the pace when you can. You can also add some stairs to your workout, or stop occasionally and do exercises such as lunges.
Just remember that malls are, first and foremost, places of business. Always be polite and give shoppers the right-of-way.
Stay happily hydrated. Instead of getting a drink at the food court (where tempting foods abound), bring your drink with you. Pour a packet of sugar free CRYSTAL LIGHT On the Go Drink Mix into a water bottle, following package directions. With flavors like Lemonade, Raspberry Ice, and Lemon Iced Tea, you can quench your thirst and treat your taste buds—all for a mere 10 calories per bottle.
Visit the bookstore. For more great tips on mall walking, pick up a copy of Mall Walking Madness by Sara Donovan, mall-walking expert and founder of WalkSport.