Are you looking for a fun way to exercise and get healthy? Check out these simple ideas for how to get exercise at the mall! Who knew shopping could also be healthy?
Whether it’s hot or cold outside, it’s a great time to go exercising at the mall! If it’s hot, you can go to the mall for their air conditioning and stay cool. If it’s cold, the warm mall is a great place to escape the rain and snow! It’s also just a fun thing to do with your kids. When my kids were little, I’d take them in the stroller and walk around the mall. They liked it because there’s plenty of stuff to look at. I liked it because I was around other people, not just lonely at home. Plus, I was able to exercise by walking around the mall!
I found a lot of great exercise ideas from a magazine (I ripped the page crooked and can’t see the magazine name) and also some health websites.
Just Starting Out Getting Exercise at the Mall
If you’re just starting out and want to try getting exercise at the mall, it’s okay to take it slow. (Of course always check with your doctor before starting any exercise routine.) This great article from the National Institute on Aging gives great tips and explains the benefits of mall walking: https://go4life.nia.nih.gov/exercise/mall-walking/.
One of their suggestions is to start out at your own pace. “As you get used to walking, increase the frequency, intensity, and/or duration of your walk to improve your fitness. Try taking the stairs to the second level instead of the escalator.”
Fun Routine to Get Exercise at the Mall
If you’re ready to pick up the pace and start walking a little faster, there are different routines you can try out. Here’s a great routine from a magazine that’s by Soraya Knight-Doherty, a fitness instructor.
- Do a 5 minute warm-up. Just start walking the mall and looking around, enjoying yourself. As you start to warm up a little, increase the pace. After about 5 minutes, briskly walk to the food court.
- Power-walk the food court. Go around the perimeter of the food court twice, while power-walking. (You’re going to make all of those people sitting there eating their sugar and fat filled cinnamon rolls inspired to get up and walk instead.) Then, walk briskly to the nearest set of stairs or escalator.
- Walk up and down the stairs or escalator. Walk up and down the stairs or escalator three times. If there are people on the elevator, they’ll usually scoot over to the side if they hear you coming. Then, continue walking briskly around the mall.
- Pick a shoe store or your favorite retailer. Once you pass either a shoe store or your favorite retailer, pick up the pace each time you pass it.
- Repeat these three things. For 20 minutes, repeat those three things. Power walk the food court, walk up and down the stairs or escalator, and pick up the pace around a store.
- Cool down the last 5 minutes. When 20 minutes is up, you can slow your pace and just walk at a normal pace until your heart rate returns to normal.
That’s it! You just got 30 minutes of exercise!
By the way, it’s a good idea to go to the mall early in the day, so that there aren’t too many people around while you’re walking.
When I used to do this with my kids, I would let them play in the kids’ play area when I was done with my walk. It was a nice reward for them for being so good while I exercised.
Get Exercise at the Mall by Walking with Friends
You don’t have to walk alone! There are exercise programs specifically for walking the mall! I used to see them when I walked with my kids and always wanted to join one. I don’t know why I never did.
Anyway, I found a great mall walking guide from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/downloads/mallwalking-guide.pdf. It’s a huge resource; it’s 56 pages! It tells you the benefits of mall walking and how to start a mall walking program.
Starting on page 16, it gives you some examples of mall walking programs you can join. There’s some in Alaska, Illinois, Missouri, Washington, and West Virginia. If your mall or area isn’t listed, you can just ask the information desk in your mall and see if they have one. They also list other walking programs, like at zoos and ice rinks! Those would both be fun things to do.
According to the Very Well Fit website, “Some mall walking programs provide weights and exercise stations so you can also enjoy a strength workout after your walk.” That would add some great strength training into your workout too!
A side benefit of mall walking programs, is the malls often have discounts available for people who are part of the program. So, besides getting your exercise, you can also shop and save money!
Walking with a friend or group is a great way to keep you motivated. You won’t be tempted to stay at home because you know someone else is holding you accountable and counting on you to show up. It also makes the time pass by quicker because you’re enjoying talking with your friends.Are you looking for a fun way to exercise and get healthy? Check out these simple ideas for how to get exercise by walking around the mall! Who knew shopping could also be healthy?Click To Tweet
Some Ways to Increase Your Exercise at the Mall
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As you get used to whatever mall walking routine you choose to do, you can start increasing your time, distance, speed, intensity, and how often you go.
Also, you can park a little bit farther away from the entrance each time, so that your walk before and after is a little longer.
Everydayhealth.com has a great article with ways to exercise at the mall. One of the suggestions is adding strength training by using the benches at the mall. “You can make up fun routines like walking each level and hitting every other bench or every third bench for dips and push-ups.”
They also suggest adding some weights while you walk. “Walking weights are small investments with a huge return because they allow you to work multiple muscle groups at once,” says Woods. “You can do bicep curls, shoulder presses, lateral raises, and triceps extensions while walking and lunging.” Here are some great weights you can use:
You can also set goals for yourself, similar to the workout example I mentioned earlier. For example, you can lunge until you reach the next store. You can do bicep curls until you find the next accessories store. Do tricep extensions until you reach the next video game store. Setting these goals will keep you motivated to accomplish them and it helps knowing there’s an end in site!
It’s Easy and Beneficial to Start Getting Exercise at the Mall
The great thing about getting exercise at the mall is it’s free! You also don’t need any special exercise equipment, so you don’t have to buy a lot of things. All you need is a good pair of walking shoes, like these:
If you have any mall walking tips, I’d love to hear them!
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