Monday, November 28, 2011

Shopping Malls – Shop and Maybe Drop a Few Calories!

Hanes Mall in Winston-Salem Offers Variety of Fitness Opportunities ©Katrena
Many people enjoy shopping and visit malls on a regular basis. Some people feel that the only thing that a mall can make lighter is one's wallet, but there are several great reasons that some people exercise in shopping malls.

Soft Playground at Hanes Mall in Winston NC ©Katrena
Exercise Opportunities at Shopping Malls Are Often Free

Simply walking from the parking lot into a shopping center may be a great free exercise opportunity, particularly for those who visit malls with large parking lots. Whether by choice or by necessity, walking from the outskirts of a mall parking lot can provide quite a bit of cardiovascular exercise.

Entrance into a shopping mall is typically free, and walking the halls provides many people with a climate-controlled opportunity to walk on a flat surface. Many malls also offer security services and emergency equipment such as AEDs.

Children's Museum at Signal Hill Mall in Statesville NC ©Katrena
Walking in a mall might provide great variety with various decorations for seasons and holidays. People watchers may find malls to be a nice spot to see others as they cruise the halls. Some malls may even make movement more fun with colored lights or changing scenes displayed on the floor.

Lighted Floor at Hanes Mall Winston-Salem NC ©Katrena
Some shopping malls open doors early to allow walkers to come in before stores open, which can be particularly helpful for those who are early risers or for people who wish to avoid crowds. Malls with multiple floors also offer stairs for those who wish to add another lever to walking exercises.

Bungee Trampoline at Hanes Mall in Forsyth County NC ©Katrena
Shopping Malls May Offer Fitness Classes and Active Opportunities

In addition to free fitness opportunities, some shopping centers are now offering exercise classes. People may find a variety of health and wellness opportunities in malls and might be able to take exercise classes like Zumba or yoga. Perhaps a drumming exercise class or dance class is located next to mall stores.

Additional opportunities for exercise might include a wide variety of activities that are unique to each shopping center. Some malls may have a Children's Museum that offers educational fitness opportunities for kids. Those who are looking to buy fitness equipment may wish to try out a treadmill or lift a few sets to ensure that the equipment is to their liking. Specialized exercise opportunities may surprise shoppers at some malls as customers may try out a bungee trampoline or jungle gym.

Shop and Walk at Salisbury Mall NC ©Katrena
Tips for People Who Wish to Exercise in Shopping Malls

Several tips may help mall walking to be more enjoyable and safer:
  • Ensure that one's healthcare provider has approved of this form of exercise and location.
  • Research emergency procedures for injuries or health concerns and location of first aid support if applicable.
  • Lock valuables in the trunk of one's vehicle and make a note of where the vehicle is parked.
  • Keep children within sight and have a safe back-up plan in the event that a child gets separated from the group.
  • Check on hours of operation and extra times for walkers if applicable.
  • Wear appropriate clothing (if coats, etc. aren't needed, some malls may offer lockers), comfortable walking shoes, and ensure adequate hydration.
  • Utilize seating and rest periods as needed.
  • Make time for added entertainment if desired.
Walking at Shopping Mall Free Fitness Opportunity ©Katrena
Exercise Opportunities at Shopping Malls

Walking can be a great exercise that does not require a lot of equipment or money. Strolling in a mall can be a fun individual or family fitness activity that does not have to cost more than the gasoline needed to drive to the location, although some may find lots of opportunities to add resistance training by carrying heavy bags out to the vehicle!
Riding Carousel at Hanes Mall in W-S NC ©Katrena


  1. The modernity of this shopping malls is very fabulous that everyone looking for, a shopping centre like this is worth hanging out.


  2. Thanks for the nice comment on my article about how a shopping mall can be a creative way to incorporate a walking fitness program!


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