Shopping centres warm alternative for strolls on cold days, say walkers


During one of the coldest days of the year, people walked up a storm — lap after lap. Not on a treadmill or on a track, but in a shopping centre.

Vivienne Milburn, an avid mall-walker said, “It sure beats walking outside these days. The sidewalks are a bit slippery, so that’s a concern. It’s a nice controlled environment.”

Bev and Len Trottier walk at the Southcentre Mall and Chinook Centre four or five days throughout the week.

The married couple enjoys mall walking because of the predictable climate and conditions.

Bev said, “The floors are level, you’re not worrying about ice and you feel safe because there are other people around you.”

Len said he enjoys mall walking as it has a “certain privacy about it, and quietness.”

“My initial motive was to come and read. So I always read a couple of hours and walked as well.” However, Len’s routine changed once his wife started accompanying him on his walks.

“When I retired, we started doing the coffee bit,” Bev said. “I’m more sociable.”

Mall walking is not just about exercising; the Trottiers have met “half a dozen people” through mall walking – while also seeing their friends and neighbours.

mallwalking at southcentre

Noeline Ward and Margaret Mccaughey, members of the Second Sixties Outdoor Club, meet up with each other to mall walk.Noeline Ward and Margaret Mccaughey mall walking at Southcentre shopping centre
Photo by: Corinne Sato

Ward says that club members meet for walks around the city, weather permitting. If it’s too cold outside, they walk indoors.

The club has about 200 members. All are 50 years of age and older.

“There are very fit people in their 60s to 80s. It’s all about friendship and meeting people who like to do similar activities,” Ward said.

Ward met Mccaughey through a luncheon and discovered that they both enjoyed walking. “I said, ‘Come out and join the club,’ so here we are,” Ward said.

Mccaughey added, “And I love it.”

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