Tag Archives: Fitness Habits

3 Reasons Why You Should Try Mall Walking

Person wearing brown boots and blue denim. The're standing on snow and their boots are caked in snow. Mall walking is a form of exercise involving people walking briskly through the long corridors of shopping malls before the stores open for the day when there are very few other folks about.

This is the time of year when I begin to yearn for spring. It’s one thing to experience snowstorms in November and December when the memory of summer is still fresh in everyone’s minds.

Winter weather somehow feels even colder and snowier when it’s been happening for a couple of months already and can be expected to keep popping up for at least two more of them.

Luckily, Toronto has plenty of malls to walk around in while the temperatures plunge and snow falls outside. There is definitely something to be said for taking advantage of all of that dry, temperature-controlled space until April arrives.

If you haven’t tried mall walking yet this winter, here are three reasons why it might be a good idea to give it a shot.

It’s Scaleable

Child running up a flight of stepsWalking can be made as easy or as difficult as it needs to be to meet your current fitness goals.

It can be a short, gentle stroll through the mall for someone who is brand new to exercise or just coming back to it after an accident or illness.

A long, brisk power walk might be a good choice for someone who has been exercising for a while and wants to increase their endurance.

I’ve even seen people run up multiple flights of stairs while on walks in order to give their muscles and cardiovascular systems a bigger challenge. Note: I don’t recommend this one on busy days at the mall or other public places!

It’s as Sociable or Solitary as You Prefer

Two people walking indoors. There is a large wall filled with glass windows behind them. I’m the sort of person who loves walking with a partner or group of people. There’s something about walking and talking that makes both of those things much more appealing to me than they’d be on their own.

The nice thing about walking at a mall is that either of these options is perfectly safe and acceptable.

There are certain places like parks that I don’t feel safe visiting early in the morning and late at night when few other folks are around because I am a short, petite woman. This is even more true during the winter when the sun rises late and sets early.

Malls always have security guards patrolling them, and no matter how early I might show up in the morning I’ve always seen other mall walkers there as well.

I really like being able to get a walk in at the mall by myself or with someone else without needing to think about safety factors like these.

It’s Warm, Dry, and Indoors

People walking around in a brightly lit mallTaking an outdoor walk on a warm, spring day in Ontario is a pleasant experience.

In February? Not so much. Our winters can be beautiful, but they’re also generally wet, icy, and freezing cold for months on end.

While I definitely prefer walking outdoors, it is nice to have a place to go during the winter where you can unzip your coat and walk around without slipping on any ice or snow.

Malls have plenty of flat, even surfaces to walk on. The ones I visit are kept very clean and dry, especially if you visit early in the day before the biggest crowds show up.

There are times during winter and early spring when I impatiently wait for the weather to warm up again. I doubt I’ll ever look forward to this part of the year, but I do appreciate having such nice places to move around in while the weather outdoors is cold, icy, snowy, muddy, rainy, and sometimes all of those things at once in a single day!

If you live near a mall, how often do you go there to exercise?

What to Do If You Missed a Week of Working Out

Woman bent over at the waist and touching her toes. She's stretching before a run. This post is going to be short and sweet. Not everything I write requires 1000+ words to explain.

I’ve been getting so many ideas for posts from my search term analytics lately, and this week’s topic is one of them.

As always, be sure to follow your family doctor’s advice and your own common sense when beginning or returning to an exercise routine.

What works for me might not be the best choice for everyone.

With those caveats out of the way, let’s talk about what happens when life gets in the way and you take a week off from your usual fitness routine. I know I have trouble getting all of my workouts in when I’m travelling or haven’t been getting as much sleep as usual.

The biggest problem with missing a week of workouts that I’ve noticed is that it disrupts your habits. After I’ve missed seven days of exercise, it begins to feel normal to keep my weights in their usual spot instead of jumping into another strength training session or to skip that walk I used take.

That is, it’s far more a psychological issue than it is a physical one. Your muscles, bones, and heart aren’t going to magically revert to the conditions they were in before you began working out regularly just because you missed a few sessions. But this is the point when it starts to feel easier to keep this new pattern going for weeks two, three, four, and beyond.

So the most important thing to do after skipping a week of workouts in my opinion is to get back into your regular habits.

Person walking down a road. There is a guard rail in the background, but we can't see what's behind it. I’m the sort of person who generally responds best to easing back into a fitness routine after a break. That is, I may start off with a shorter weightlifting session or slower walking pace than I’d normally do for the first few days.

Somehow my brain adapts to my former routines better if I don’t expect A+ work on the first day.

If jumping right into your normal workouts at the same intensity you’d built up to before your break is better motivation for you, great!

The important thing is to start moving again until it once again feels normal to stick to the things you were doing before taking this break.

What other advice would you give to someone who has missed a week of workouts?