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Mall walking helps you stay healthy through winter weather

If you've  made a New Year's resolution to get in shape this winter, but you're reluctant to get outside for long walks because of the weather, then mall walking may be a great idea for you.

Mall walking can be done in groups or by yourself, but it requires committing yourself to more than a leisurely window-shopping pace. Wendy Bumgardener, who writes for About.com, has written a tutorial on walking faster to help people reach the moderate pace considered neccessary for acheiving walking's many health benefits which include raising your metabolism,  lowering your risks for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some forms of cancer and getting a better night's sleep.

In her article, Learn The Benefits And Fun Of Mall Walking, Tina Vasquez notes that "most major malls nationwide have mall-walking groups that were formed by members of the community". Check with the service desk at your nearest mall to see if there is a group already formed. Some malls, like the Natick Collection, open their doors as early as 7am to accommodate mall walkers before the stores open. If the most convenient mall to you does not have a mall walking program in place, then ask if you can start one; gather some friends, family and neighbors, put notices up at your local library, or advertise on internet sites like Facebook or Craigslist for a start.

If group walking is not for you, then feel free to go to any mall anytime and powerwalk your way around for a set amount of time, distance, or even steps while using a pedometer. The point is, don't let either winter's nasty weather or the prohibitive cost of a gym membership keep you on the couch. Mall walking is free exercise for everyone, so get out there and move!

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