A heart that shops is a happy heart, and a heart that walks and shops is both a healthy and happy heart. Have you enrolled yourself in the newest and hottest fitness fad, mall walking?
In this part of the world no one expects us to be walking enthusiasts. Our walking tracks are mostly defined by the distance between the driveway and our doorstep. The sun is always out and hence we aren’t seen much outside. Of course occasionally we run by the beach, jog in the neighborhood park or even walk down to pick up the dry cleaning, but that’s about it. We are not questioned on our walking habits because indoors is where we belong, absolutely during the summer and mostly during the winter too. So, you can imagine my reaction when I received a message from my friends asking me to join them for a walk at mid noon. Further, the message said that if I wished I could slip into my latest designer number and bring my credit card along too. And yes, I had to come wearing my walking shoes and meet them at the ground floor of the mall. Clueless and curious, I joined them and was told that we were going mall walking, a form of exercise in which people walk or jog through the long corridors of shopping malls.
The mall was fairly empty, which gave us enough space to walk, talk and window shop. I also learnt that in the West, malls open their doors early for walkers, in fact in many places one can even register for mall fitness programs and indulge in mall walking and ‘mallxercise’. While the concept was developed in the U.S. to motivate people to walk indoors during cold days, I observed how well it works for us as well. A friend mentioned how, each time she visits the mall, she spends three to four hours just walking from one favorite store to another. Now, isn’t this a lovely way to walk and shop sans the guilt? I for a fact, loved plugging in my iPod and walking in the empty corridors, and after two laps when I felt de-motivated, took a break to window-admire a few desirable things. It also warmed my heart to see many old men and women walking slowly in the corridors, and they told me that they liked the mall better than the community park because it was cleaner and had washrooms at a handshake distance. It was indeed quite interesting to see walking shoes peeping from under the abayas and flared pants. I made a note, next time I’d go wearing track pants and encourage others to join me. And when it was finally time to stop, we made a wise choice of ordering a glass of fruit juice at the food court. We had just enrolled ourselves in a fitness program that was absolutely free and fun, and we were spoilt by enough healthy food choices too. We loved chatting as we walked, and realized that just one round of a mall was enough to lose calories and move the limbs. Before we left, we promised to walk down The Avenues, Kuwait’s largest mall, one day but for that we need to build mall walking stamina.
Would I go mall walking again? Definitely yes, especially because this walking track is open 24/7. No sweat stains, no dirty walking tracks and no weather constraints; mall walking is a fitness choice that is centered on our concerns, curiosities and comforts.