Ah, spring is in the air! Even though the weather can start to get nice in March and we want to be outside which is great, we still want to be careful when walking outside. Especially at this time of year, when there are still a lot of icy patches on the sidewalks and roads, especially if you live in most parts of Canada. This is one of the biggest reasons why older adults in particular are concerned about walking outside – it is not at all fun to lose your footing and take a tumble, possibly injuring a knee or an elbow in the process.
However, there is another great option for older adults who want to walk, but who do not want to take their chances on ice or snow covered sidewalks. A fantastic alternative to icy sidewalks if you are concerned about falling on ice or uneven terrain outside and that is keeping you from walking for exercise is mall walking. Most urban areas have mall-walking programs. Some of them are fairly organized and you sign up for them, others offer no formal walking programs — you just show up at the designated times.
Within the city of Calgary alone, there are at least 9 different malls that offer walking programs. This makes it very easy to find one that is near you and easy to get to. Some of the coffee shops in the mall even open early so you can sip on a hot drink, window-shop, and spend time chatting with your friends and colleagues if you want, all while gaining the benefits that exercise has on a person. Additionally, unlike walking on a blustery or chilly day, you can walk in the mall without having to wear bulky winter outerwear. This is such a great alternative in every way to walking outside when weather and falls are an issue.
So, if concerns about ice and snow are keeping you from exercising, get yourself to the mall and start walking!