I was born in Upper Michigan and learned there, living on a small farm amidst a panorama of seasons, to appreciate all of the beauties of God's creation. It was there that I developed an interest in creative art and writing. As a retired R.N. I now find time to explore my creativity and share it with others. I hope that I can inspire others to become more aware of all the everyday gifts in nature that are all around us.

Well…here I am learning about the ways of city folk who keep up with their exercise plan, in the winter, as they  religiously walk the mall.  There is quite a crew of these folks, usually elderly and retired, but some  of the younger crowd, who congregate at the Maplewood mall, promptly at 8:00 a.m., when the mall opens. There are even some walker benefits at the Cinnabon shop, on the corner, which offers walkers a coffee at half price, for 75 cents. What a deal!

walkersIt takes will power to resist buying one of those delicious cinnamon rolls, which would defeat the purpose of walking.  But they surely do smell good.

Walking, at a good pace which allows you to talk to your partner, does have so many health benefits for the circulatory system amd heart as well as for the bones and joints. Of all of the exercises we can do to maintain fitness and a healthy body, walking is by far the best . It is  easiest on the body and it is free, except for the purchase of a good pair of walking shoes.  I made the mistake, last summer, of walking a long distance in sandals, which do not give enough support.  My left foot got plantars fasciitis, which was quite sore for six months and required me to wear special inserts in the shoe.  I was lucky that with exercises and the insert, my problem went away quickly.

We found that walking the entire upper level of the mall, at a good rate, takes ten minute, and going around three times is equivalent to one and a half miles. I choose to stop then, have a cup of coffee, and people watch.  That can be quite entertaining. I saw the almost running walkers who were the die-hards and some slow walkers who leisurely stroll along.  However, most are intent on putting on miles and keep a steady pace, while chatting with their partner, or plodding along while deep in thought. Maybe they are anticipating splurging on a cinnamon roll or shopping at their favorite store. Some probably just come for coffee and visiting with friends, for something to do. Whatever reason, the mall, with its many sights and sounds provides a perfect surrounding to enjoy a morning of exercise amidst a crowd of fellow walkers.