Too much to do, too little time! Ask most families who are right in the middle of the Sandwich Generation why they don’t exercise and that would probably be the number one answer. But studies have proven that regular exercise makes you feel better, stress less, and renew your energy. It can even slow down some of the symptoms caused by diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease. I definitely saw that with one of my loved ones. When he got Parkinson’s Disease he didn’t stop walking. In fact, he walked more. And he stayed active and alert for 15 years after that diagnosis. Contrast that to a friend’s dad who, once he got his diagnosis, stopped exercising, stopped going out, and was practically bedridden for years.
The need for exercise is not just for us grown-ups. Studies also show that our grandchildren aren’t getting enough exercise either. Everyone can benefit from more exercise. But how do you squish it in with all the other items you are busy juggling? Try mall walking!
Many malls open their main doors earlier than the stores actually open to allow people of all ages to walk around the inside, safe from too much heat, frigid cold, snow, or rain. There are restrooms and drinking fountains easily available. Security personnel are on duty so you have a safe and pleasant environment. We used to be regulars on the mall circuit – granddad, granddaughter, and me in the middle. Granted, our speed wouldn’t have sent any records. The mommy walkers with their jogging strollers often passed us three times in a day! But we all got exercise and we got out to see new scenery. We even made new friends and ran into old friends.
Our mall occasionally offered special events for the walkers such as health screenings. They even came up with a cute T-shirt for the walkers. Different malls have their own policies and rules. You can call your mall, or ask at the mall’s information center the next time you are there.
One added advantage for the early morning mall walkers – you are there right when the doors open! So you can get your exercise and then hit those sales running! Talk about great ways to save money – free exercise and early bird sales! Now doesn’t that get your energy up?