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Mall Walking this Winter

Man tying shoesKeep Active this Holiday Season – Take a Walk in the Mall!

The holidays are here again! Not only does this festive season bring egg nog, cookies, candy canes and stuffing with extra gravy, in many areas it also means cooler temperatures. Although being physically active can help you avoid some holiday weight gain, what should you do if it is too cold or icy outside? Why not beat holiday shoppers to your nearest mall for a morning walk?

Although mall walking can be done by almost anyone, it tends to be most popular among people middle-aged and older. This isn't surprising because malls have features that make walking in them particularly appealing to older adults. They are protected from the weather, are well-lit, have flat and even walking surfaces, have convenient restrooms, and have seats and benches where one can rest for a little while in the middle of the walk.

People walking in mall

Mall walking programs can provide safe, convenient, and warm places for you to be active this season.

Does mall walking sound like something you'd like to try? If so, you can do it by yourself, or you can call a few friends to meet you there and walk with you. Or, if you need a more formal, structured program to get you out of bed and into your sneakers, check to see if your local mall has an official mall walking program. If not, you can become a mall-walking champion and work with mall leadership to help establish one [5.2 MB]!

Regular physical activity, including walking, can help lower your risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, and some cancers. These diseases occur more often as people get older. Regular physical activity can also help control weight, improve sleep and, for older adults, help maintain independence, reduce the risk of falling down and delay the start of mental decline, like being forgetful.

Even with all the benefits of physical activity, middle-aged and older adults are among the most physically inactive groups in the country. Walking is a great way for you to be physically active because it doesn't require special skills and can be done at almost every activity level.

Mall walking is a great way to get moving. And, during the busy holiday season you can use it to get in your recommended physical activity while enjoying the mall's holiday decorations and music. Then, when the shops open you can take advantage of where you are to do some shopping for your kids and grandkids!

Happy and Healthy Holidays to You!

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