Move in May: A New Guide Offers a Unique Way to be
May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. To honor this public health observance, we'd like to highlight a new resource that showcases an alternative method for meeting your fitness goals—mall walking.
Regular physical activity is important for overall health. Adults who engage in regular physical activity are at lower risk of heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes, breast and colon cancers, and depressed mood, compared with inactive adults. Regular physical activity can also help with controlling weight, improving sleep, and for older adults, maintaining independence, reducing the risk of falls, and delaying the onset of cognitive decline.
Walking is a great way to be physically active because it doesn’t require special skills or expensive equipment. However, many neighborhood environment factors, such as sidewalk conditions, proximity of desirable destinations, perceived safety from traffic, and crime all influence walking-related physical activity. External conditions, such as extreme temperatures and inclement weather, may also influence walking and increase safety hazards. Mall walking programs can address many of these barriers.
Mall Walking: A Program Resource Guide is a new tool developed by researchers at the University of Washington Health Promotion Resource Center and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to encourage the development of mall walking programs. The guide provides several examples of successful mall walking programs as well as practical strategies for starting and maintaining walking programs in malls or other venues in areas where a mall is not available. The guide also offers tips and helpful resources to walk you through all stages of the program development process, from planning to implementation and evaluation. Please share this resource with mall managers, health care providers, community organizers, physical activity and fitness professionals, those who work with older adults, and anyone who is looking for a new way to maintain their commitment to a physically active lifestyle.