Shopping mall for walking Photo by WiNG
In a matter of days, now, some parts of our country will transition from hot summer days to cooler fall ones and then to even colder wintery weather. Soon enough, in Michigan, cold mornings will greet you like a ton of (ice) bricks. Don’t think that your fitness walking has to stop and you go into hibernation like a bear. On the contrary, consider joining a mall-walking club so you’ll be able to continue your journey towards a healthier you, through walking. It's a great way of getting away from the winter elements. Mall walking has been around for awhile but these days you can be sure these aren’t your grandmother’s mall walks.
Malls are very accommodating to walkers and will open their doors to walkers before retail stores open. Many have designated areas for walking clubs to meet before they start their walk. Some have certain entrances for their walkers. Others set aside a special area for walkers to hang coats and jackets to make their walk more comfortable. Because after all, once you’re at the mall, and after your walk, you just may stay and do some shopping. Many mall walking clubs offer incentives to encourage registration and participation. The Great Lakes Crossing’s New Michigan Adventure Walking Club, in Auburn Hills, for example, awards a t-shirt to walkers just for registering as a member! A FREE quarterly breakfast is among benefits available to its members. Visit their website at www.shopgreatlakescrossing.com/infodesk/clubNews.html to get more information. Some malls offer incentives to encourage walkers. The Eastland Mall in Harper Woods, awards a t-shirt to walkers finishing 100 miles; and a second t-shirt is awarded to all that finish 1000 miles. Register at Customer Service (313) 371-1500 and receive a badge.
Health insurance companies and hospitals understand the importance of a healthier lifestyle because this translates into overall better health and less trips to the doctor. This saves them, and the insured, money. They will often partner with other businesses and communities to promote and offer exercise programs, information clinics and health screenings. The Health Alliance Plan of Michigan Health Insurance (HAP), publishes a four-page guide listing places that are mall-walking friendly, many have walking clubs. The following information is taken directly from the guide. Find their complete guide at www.hap.org/worksite/pdfs/mall_walking.pdf:
Location: Wayne and Warren Roads; Westland
Doors open: 7 a.m. Monday through Sunday
Distances: Walking the mall with all the arcades (hallways) is .75 of a mile.
Walking the mall without all arcades (hallways) is .5 of a mile.
Phone: (734) 425-5001
Additional: Use the doors by Arcade 2 (by Olga’s Kitchen) before 8:30 a.m.
To join the walking program, complete a registration card at the Customer Service booth
in the East Court. St. Mary Mercy Hospital offers community lectures and health
screenings such as blood pressure checks.
For more information contact the Community Outreach Department at St. Mary Mercy
Hospital at (734) 655-8940.
Mall walking can be just the answer in those parts of the country where the cold weather prevents many from doing what they love: walking for fitness. If your favorite mall isn’t mall-walking friendly, check with Customer Service and propose to start a club. Give yourself a club name and offer to be the point of contact. Remind the management how mall walking is popular and what opportunities the mall has with bringing more customers to it. Ask what incentives they could offer its walkers as well. Less they forget that mall walkers are customers too!
As always, consult your physician before starting any exercise and/or diet regimen.