Welcome to 2019, ya’ll, here’s to all of us! No matter what the balance of our bank account, who we vote for, what kind of music we like, or what church we do or don’t attend, we are all in this new year together. Let’s try and make it a better place, shall we? Let’s be kind and empathetic to each other and take responsibility for ourselves.
What are your goals for this shiny new 2019? Hopefully taking care of your personal health is way up there on the list. You only get one you, so make yourself the best you can, right? Stay active, keep your nutrition intake high, your immune system functioning well, and your body conditioned.
Yeah, we know, winter is cold. That chilly air and icy wind seems to cut right through your clothes and it makes your usual dedication to walking three times a week for 30 minutes waver. Maybe today you could just stay inside by the fireplace, right? Maybe just watch a movie or do up a nice pot roast and slather it with gravy instead of walking…
You could do that, but remember, your life needs balance. That means physical activity as well as relaxation time. Time on your feet as well as time off of them. If you’re like most people and live in an area where winter weather is enough to keep you stuck indoors at times, you should check out mall walking.
Malls are big, have wide hallways with plenty of room to maneuver around other shoppers, handy bathrooms and drinking fountains, security, and the convenience of regulated indoor weather. Take advantage of all these things and do your walking there!
There are two ways you can mall walk:
- Check with your local mall to see if they have a mall walking program. If they do, it usually means that the mall opens early (earlier than the stores do) for mall walkers. That way you can walk and/or jog without having to navigate the flow of shoppers. Or,
- You can go freestyle. If your local mall doesn’t offer mall walking, you can just go during their regular business hours and get your hike on. Wear your smart step-counter and comfortable clothes, strap on a good pair of supportive shoes, and start walking.
The Other Kind of Balance
Your body needs activity. It needs weight-bearing exercise to strengthen your bones and improve your muscle tone. It needs cardiovascular exercise to strengthen your heart and lungs and keep your lymphatic system moving. And it needs free-moving, all-four-limbs exercise to improve your core strength and balance.
Try mall walking when the weather is terrible and you can’t get outside. Go alone or meet a couple friends there. Track your steps and your heart rate just like you would during outdoor walking and don’t get distracted by the brightly colored sale signs and the smell of the pretzel shop. Walk, walk, walk, chat with your friends, and enjoy the shelter from the cold weather outside.