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Mallercise (Walking in Mall) – Is It Another Fitness Craze?

November 16th, 2009 · 4 Comments ·
 
 

 

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Every weekend, in the city I stay, I see people flocking to shopping malls. It has almost been a common trend in big cities when families spending almost a day in the mall, from shopping, dining to movie going in the same place. While some are doing that, that is another group of people actually exercise too in the same mall, 3 to 4 times a week.

Yes, I am talking about “mallercise”. Mallercise, or commonly known as mall walking, is a walking exercise in shopping malls. It is supposed to be the power walking done while window shopping. The craze has swept many places in the US, Canada and catching on in the UK too.

Why mallercise?

I believe that walking in the shopping mall is affordable (probably parking fee is the only charges), safe and comfortable even when it is raining or snowing out there. A normal 30-minute speed walk, including some stair climbing, can burn between 150 and 200 calories.

While I have no doubt on the potential of mallercise is to help people to lose weight, but I just worry that you may end up losing money from wallet at the end of each session. As you sail past the confectionery or ice cream aisle, you may end up having the junk food in your hands while walking. Not forget to mention almost women will stop to look at pretty shoes while shopping. The temptation to buy things is too irresistible for many shoppers.

Some of the interesting facts about this exercise:

  • More and more mallercise groups are formed. They meet up regularly at different malls within a city according to the schedule. Some even have initiatives like 8-week mall walking program.
  • Most shopping mall managements are willing to allow these groups to walk. In fact, it is a free publicity for the mall owners. Most walks starts 1 to 2 hours before the shops open their doors. Some malls even publish the mall walking hours in their websites. It is actually a win-win move. Crowd is less in early hours, so after mall walking, these people patronize the mall’s food court and help bringing business to the shops there.

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  • Most mall walkers are actually older people or obese people. Those are the serious groups of mall walkers. They go to mall as early as 6 AM in the morning. They wear pedometers to help tracking the steps they have taken. They walk in peace and quiet for an hour every morning. They accomplish at least few laps of each floor. While they walk, they look at the store display and take their time to walk. It is good since they cannot enter any stores at that hours and will not spend unnecessarily. If my mum stays here, I will definitely encourage her to do mall walking too.

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  • Some shoe manufacturers actually come out with special made shoes for mall walking purpose. They call the shoes as Mall Walker. Hush Puppies is one of the companies catches on this craze. Check out these so called Mall Walker shoes. It claims that these mall walker shoes provide extra traction for better walk experience on slicker mall floors.

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Look as if shopping malls have been transformed into a huge exercise area. Remember a high-tech shopping trolley I mentioned in one of my posts – Burn Calories While Shopping With Trim Trolley at Tesco, the day has come that shopping is no longer just a fun activity, but also a fat burning exercise. I do not have any issue seeing senior citizen power walk in the mall and in fact it is good if you are sedentary, old or obese. At least you are doing something. But for people who are active, instead of strolling the mall, I will encourage you to try something like jogging, running or cycling. So, do not ditch your gym membership yet and opt for mallercise!

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4 responses so far ↓
  • Tami // Nov 16, 2009 at 7:08 PM

    2 words.
    What the…

    I saw this in a film not long ago and wondered what on earth they were doing. Thanks for making it make a bit more sense!
    I have a question though, why have this Mall Walking if you then have the security guards on segways? essentially not doing any exercise at all?
    Confused thinking I feel

  • foongpc // Nov 17, 2009 at 12:55 AM

    This is new to me! Probably more suited to older people. I would prefer to walk in the park instead of inside a mall!

  • Nathan Mathews // Nov 17, 2009 at 10:27 AM

    My sister-in-law has walked in malls for years when it is cold outside, I think this is great that it is catching on. Our malls are a dying breed and I am sure the stores love it because they generate revenue off of the people window shopping.

    I agree with the last comment, I prefer to walk out side myself.

    Nathan

  • Momo // Nov 17, 2009 at 9:38 PM

    I have walked in the Mall near my house (Penang) for close to 3 years.A friend joined me more than a year ago.

    We walk briskly for 45 mins to an hour each time and we are at the Mall from Mondays to Fridays from 10am.We cover about 7,200 steps each time (measured using pedometer)

    We choose to walk in the Mall because it is safe and we have excess to toilet facilities and water. Parking is minimal and we do not have to worry about the weather.We can also do our grocery shopping after our walk.Of course we are the first to know when there is a sale!

    The first question people asked (when they found out about this activity) is ‘How can your exercise/walking be effective if you do not sweat a lot?’ I always tell them that I am actually working my heart and building my bones and one does not have to sweat buckets to work out effectively.BTW I do sweat (lightly).

    So any one would like to join us? Especially those staying in the south of the island.

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