When I was a teenager, the mall was the place where the “cool kids” went on Fridays after school to compare hair height and try on high-tops. A shortage of spare time and money made a mall visit rare during college. Once I started working, the mall became a useful place to pick up that one item needed, be it black slacks or an Easter dress. Nowadays, the mall has become a regular place for my mom and I to go to bargain hunt, use coupons, and stay cool during the summer. Mostly, we go to get out of the house.
Mall walking began decades ago, and now hundreds of programs exist across the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a guide explaining how the mall is a great place for seniors to get some exercise. For seniors who feel uncomfortable or cannot afford a gym membership, neighborhood walking is good, but not when weather is bad or they live in a bad neighborhood. Indoor shopping areas are ideal because they have level surfaces where seniors are less likely to fall. Malls are also well-lit and have water fountains, restrooms, and benches to rest.
Clubs of mall walkers give seniors a way to socialize while talking and walking. This is good if they live alone or have no family in town. Many of these clubs partner malls with physicians, hospitals, or community groups. There may be warm-up stretches or blood pressure screenings. A retired physician may be present to answer health questions. Groups of walkers also benefit the malls, which have had less traffic since online shopping became popular. They visit the stores, catch a movie, or grab breakfast. Health officials say more malls should open earlier for walkers.
Gorman, Anna. “Need Exercise? Go To The Mall.” News. Kaiser Health News, 20 Apr 2016. Web. 21 Apr 2016.