How Window Shopping Can Be Healthy
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – Everyone is looking for a way to stay healthy and active, but some are turning to more unconventional options, like the mall.
You’ve heard âan apple a day keeps the doctor awayâ, but what about window shopping? Parkway Place Mall in Huntsville opens at 8:30 a.m. for a morning exercise. Every morning, over 40 people start their morning walk at the mall and people like Greg Marty do it to stay social and healthy.
âProbably the best exercise you can do is walk for your cardiovascular system,â Marty said. After suffering two heart attacks, her cardiologist suggested daily walks. But, he had to think outside the box, the weather being unpredictable, he wanted a place he could go, rain or shine.
âI built my strength. I walk between two and three miles a day now, âMarty said,â if I miss a day I feel like my routine is really messed up and I’m not really happy with myself either, âadding that if he misses a day of the week, he makes sure to make up for it on weekends.
Dexter Elliott, another walker, says it was after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer that he decided that walking in malls was not just a way for him to stay active and healthy, but also to be social.
âI needed to exercise. So coming here, protecting myself from the elements, would allow me to exercise and be in an air-conditioned place and meet other people, say hello and hang out in a way. I guess you can tell and walk away from the house for a few hours.
Fitness clubs can get expensive at times, Elliott says he appreciates that the mall provides a space for him and many others to stay active, socialize and build a community that has not only bonded them through. activity, but they can do it for free.
âI’m thankful that they give us a place to go, a place to exercise,â Elliott said.
While the two men saw many health benefits, like lower cholesterol and heart strength, it’s the interactions and friendships they enjoy the most.
âLots of church people walk, so I met other people of other different denominations and things. I have a good friend that he and I take home for a walk sometimes during the week, âElliott said.
The two also agree that without this small community, they would not have met the people they became friends with or shared their stories, raising awareness of many health issues and concerns.
âI made several friends here that I would never have met otherwise, so I really enjoyed it, making people smile and just being here waving people around and seeing them,â Marty said.
One of Elliott’s most valuable things is sharing his background and the importance of screening for cancer in men: âI tell men, go get your tests, prostate cancer will surprise you and I’m just grateful to spread it. awareness, âElliott said.
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