It’s true—it’s cold outside. It’s much easier this time of year to sit inside on a frigid, blustery day and read a book under a blanket while sipping a mug of tea. This can make it difficult for us to find that motivation we had at the beginning of the year to exercise and get fit. But when we really think about it, we know that physical activity is a necessary part of our daily routine. So how we can get in our 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week of physical activity without being in fear of freezing our feet off?

Mall walking! While this isn’t a new idea, or even a very creative one, the mall is extremely underutilized for those who wish to exercise. The many malls across Metro Atlanta can offer some of the best perks, such as:

  1. A temperature-controlled building
  2. Easy to access bathrooms
  3. Free water fountains
  4. Flat and level walking routes
  5. A well-lit and safe environment with a security presence
  6. Benches to rest
  7. No membership required, so family and friends can walk with you

While you should walk at a pace that is challenging yet comfortable for you, a good rule of thumb is to use the talk test. The talk test will determine if you are exercising at a moderate or vigorous level of activity. If you’re walking at a moderate pace, you should be able to talk, but not sing. Vigorous activity occurs when you are not able to say more than a few words without having to stop. If you walk into the vigorous zone, slow down or take a quick break to lower your heart rate back to a moderate level.

Most malls in our area open their front doors at least an hour early for mall walkers to have free reign. So step into the land of department stores with a nice pair of walking shoes and have fun this winter.