Is mall walking the coolest summer exercise?

Candice Denise Owens likes to take 8,000 to 10,000 steps every day. But one day last fall, the 44-year-old Baltimore resident realized she didn’t want to go outside for her daily walk. “It was too cold, but I didn’t want to stop taking my steps,” she tells Yahoo Life.

And so the digital creator, motivational speaker and self-care coach, went to a local mall instead. “I was literally able to get my steps in today by just walking around the mall,” she marveled in a TikTok about his experience with so-called “mall walking,” a workout typically associated with older adults. “I used to look at women when I was younger and think, ‘Look at these little women walking in the malls.’ And now I understand; they are trying to take their first steps.

Months later, Owens has maintained her routine of walking to malls, especially on days when the weather is bad (like now, when the extreme heat sets in) or when she worries her asthma might flare up. ‘outside. She estimates she walks the mall about two or three times a month, tracking her steps (usually about 8,000 per visit) on her iPhone’s fitness app and arriving near opening hours to avoid being slowed down by crowds or slow window shoppers. The latter is a trick she learned from observing older mall walkers when she worked at a Nordstrom mall years ago.

Here’s what the experts say about mall walking — and how to make the most of your time while strolling past Foot Locker.

Yes, but there are some caveats, cardiologist Dr. Mustali Dohadwala tells Yahoo Life. Walking is associated with many benefits, some of which, like exposure to vitamin D, are specific to walking outdoors rather than indoors. Therefore, mall walkers (or someone getting their steps on a treadmill at the gym) might miss this opportunity.

But any of them Walking “saves lives,” Dohadwala adds, because it keeps people active and away from the type of sedentary lifestyle that is linked to a higher risk of premature death. Even walking indoors is good for cardiovascular health and may be a “safer” exercise option for many people, especially as summer sets in and heat safety is an issue. concern. As a doctor born and raised in Houston, Dohadwala knows all too well how bad heat and humidity can put someone — especially someone who takes prescription medications, has an underlying health condition , is relatively sedentary or simply not used to exercising in hot weather. – at risk of heat exhaustion, or worse.

What is a good landmark for walking? Dohadwala emphasizes guidelines recommending at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, which, he says, “would be sufficient for cardiovascular health.” As for the number of steps, “the data shows that between 7,000 and 10,000 steps per day would be sufficient,” he adds.

According to official guide to mall walking resources created…

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