Mall walking is the practice of exercising in a shopping mall. Some people walk in malls to avoid extreme weather. For others it is an opportunity to exercise with friends in an environment that allows them to shop and socialize in a food court. Exercising in a mall is an especially popular activity for older people because it is a safe environment with moderate temperatures and a more relaxed atmosphere than a busy gym or a high traffic street. Mall walking organizations bring people together to exercise and also plan mall health fairs.
One of the reasons people exercise in a mall is to continue their walking routines when the outside weather becomes extreme. In a mall, people benefit from moderate temperatures. Long hallways and staircases present opportunities for aerobic exercise. Some malls are open before and after store hours and allow mall walking groups and individuals to get a full workout. In some cases, mall walkers carry hand and ankle weights, while others jog for more strenuous exercise.
Mall walking is also a popular activity for those who enjoy combining exercise with shopping. Friends can meet at the mall before it opens to benefit from exercise and then spend time shopping together and eating in the food court. Mall walking is also an attractive activity for people who do not enjoy the gym environment and who prefer to get exercise in other ways. Walking in a mall is also a way to multitask for those who want to both shop and exercise.
Shopping mall walking is also a popular activity for older people. Exercising at a constant temperature and away from various elements, including rain, wind, and the hot sun, can be beneficial for the elderly. Being away from city traffic and crosswalks is also important for older people who may not be able to walk as quickly. Meeting friends at a mall presents an opportunity for seniors to socialize and also benefit from health screening services.
Mall walking organizations are generally grassroots efforts aimed at encouraging people to increase their physical activity through exercising in a relaxed environment. These groups announce their events through word of mouth, postings on community bulletin boards, or on their websites. Such organizations often bring together people of all ages from various social circles. Other activities of these organizations include coordinating mall health fairs, which offer services such as blood pressure screenings and cholesterol tests.