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.
Walking 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
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
Taking 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?