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Best 5 Tips for Successfully Walking the Shopping Mall

Mall - Walking the shopping Mall

Walking the Shopping Mall…is the perfect way to get out of the house for some “feel good” exercise, cruise the storefront displays and people watch, too!  It’s a fun place to be whether you do any shopping or not!

Living in the Chicago area I am a “mall walking fanatic” when the weather turns cold!  The bigger the mall the better—more distance to cover without looping and passing the same stores repeatedly.  The large outlet malls are my favorites!

Here are my Best 5 Tips for Walking the Shopping Mall…

1.  Learn the Mall Directory or have a mall map:  Make sure you do some online research of the mall you’ve chosen, or get a mall map once you’re there to learn the location of the larger anchor stores, rest areas, water fountains and vending machines.

Before you start wandering about the mall, also take a good look at the large marquee Mall Directory Map and Store Listings, if you still need to clarify your orientation.

2.  Avoid the peak mall hours:  If you’re hoping to walk continuously, then go to the mall as early as possible, or about an hour before closing to avoid the big crowds.  You’ll have a much better chance of finding a parking place near an entrance, too!

You can plan your walk at the mall so that you do your shopping purchases towards the end of your walk, once you’ve scoped out the best prices, then zip on out to your car with your shopping goodies!

3.  Park near a Mall entrance:  In winter, if you’re able to park your car close enough to one of the mall entrances (during non-peak hours), you can sometimes leave your heaviest coat in the car & just wear a padded vest with a scarf.  This allows you to walk the mall fairly unencumbered–more fun & less chance of losing that coat if you set it down to rest your shoulder!

I just configure & tie the vest and scarf around my small across-the-shoulder purse strap and off I go!  (Note:  Make sure you have you car keys with you—don’t get locked out of your car without that heavy coat)!

4.  Play your mp3 player:  Listening to your own preferred music or favorite podcasts (instead of the generic mall music) can help you stay directed & motivated to keep walking forward, instead of making prolonged stops in stores or picking up a tempting snack at the food court!  Keep one ear bud “out” to be aware of your mall surroundings—at times you might turn the mp3 player off to maneuver adeptly, too.

Family - Walking the Shopping Mall

5.  Learn to Maneuver smoothly within a crowd:  If the mall is fairly crowded and you can’t schedule your walk to avoid the crowds, then watch out for these:

Streams of walkers moving together:

  • Look ahead to see if the stream of walkers you’re moving within will be slowed to a near halt sometime soon (slow walkers, baby buggies, strollers, or large groups trying to stay together).
  • Then gracefully switch lanes ahead of time to avoid being caught in the congested/slower group of mall walkers and go around them.

People pushing carts or strollers:

  • Can be behind you, ahead of you, or coming towards you in the opposite direction.
  • Often the cart/stroller pushers are distracted in conversation, or are looking at store windows.
  • They can unintentionally run right into you!
  • So keep your distance from these guys and try to shift tracks to be out of their pathway!

Children:  are a delight to us all, but one must be proactive in making sure they don’t run into you, or spill something with their enthusiastic responses to sounds, people, storefronts, food and other children!

  • Be sure to be “on guard” if you see a child in the vicinity, as they are highly unpredictable in their movements in new surroundings!
  • Make sure to keep some distance & be ready to stop or shift your direction on a dime!
  • Children can suddenly run towards a parent, or to look at something loud, bright & shiny that intrigues them and not even notice the walking adults moving past them at all!

Walking the mall smoothly is a good skill to develop to continue your walking exercise when the weather forecast is cold, windy, snowy or rainy.  You’ll be an expert in no time at all with a little practice!

Get into the swing of Mall Walking by starting with your holiday shopping and then continue this routine throughout the winter!

You’ll be “fit n’ ready” for spring and summer walking fun once that time comes!

Oh, yeah–mall walking here I come!  Please join me!

Sandra – JustLoveWalking

P.S.  To tell us what you think, please enter your first name and e-mail address in the form below along with your comment!  I look forward to hearing from you all!  (Only your first name will be displayed with your comments.  Your e-mail address will remain private). 

  1. My daughter and I recently moved to a new city and we are looking for advice to choose a safe and great mall we can go to. You made a great point when you said it’s critical to not go in peak hours to avoid big crowds and reduce safety risks. We will definitely take this on your other tips into consideration.

    • Hi Megan,

      Yes, especially these days it is important to be careful to only consider walking a mall with a minimum of foot traffic.
      Just make sure you follow your local municipality guidelines for activity within the malls in your area.
      Of course with pandemic concerns, we all need to make sure we use face masks, plus employ social distancing and hand washing whenever we’re out in public.

      I wish you and your daughter much happiness in your new home.

      No matter where you may be walking, even just around your home, your back yard or your neighborhood, the JustLoveWalking community is with you in spirit!

      Stay safe! Happy Walking!

      -Sandra – JustLoveWalking

  2. I love that you said that walking in the mall is a great exercise and that I should avoid pick mall hours to avoid the crowd. Brisk walking as my favorite type of exercise, but I don’t like doing it outdoors because of the heat. Perhaps I should start doing it in shopping centers so I wouldn’t also be bored because of all the stores in the building. Thanks for the idea!

    • Hello Levi,

      I’m glad to hear that my suggestion to walk the mall for exercise was helpful to you!
      And yes, discovering the best hours to walk to avoid the crowds is extremely important…especially these days with concerns about
      environmental health safety with the challenges of the pandemic upon us. So please do observe the health safety procedures for your area (face masks, distancing, hand washing) and if need be, even consider just walking the outdoor sidewalk around the store buildings if that’s an option!

      And remember that even if you’re just walking around your house (and up and down stairs), we’ll all be walking together in spirit.

      Stay Safe! Happy Walking!

      -Sandra – JustLoveWalking

  3. I think that it is just fitting to be knowledgeable enough about the shopping mall that you are planning to go to. And I love how you mentioned that doing some research or checking the mall’s directory online could save you from wandering around without knowing the location of the shop that you have in mind. Good thing that the shopping centers are now establishing websites to inform people about what shops they have and where to find them. You did a great job of giving tips on how to navigate the mall with ease.

    • Hi Millie,

      Glad to hear that my tips on walking the shopping mall were helpful!

      Yes, it is great that many shopping malls have websites to inform shoppers
      of available stores, grand openings of new stores coming up, other events and mall maps!

      Thanks so much for your kind words–happy shopping…happy walking!

      Sandra – JustLoveWalking

  4. I completely agree with the tips mentioned above. There are various malls in the world which are always crowded so, there is no time slot fixed to visit there, one can be there any time like The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milano.

    • Hello Kathleen,

      It’s great to hear that these tips are helpful for walking while you shop at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan, too!

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Merry Christmas!

      Wishing you all the best:)

      Sandra – JustLoveWalking

  5. I absolutely love shopping at the mall whenever I take my family into town. We live out in the country and so we don’t have the opportunity to go to the mall very often, but we usually try to avoid peak hours when we do go. This is more so because our children love to run around and it is much easier for us if we go to the mall earlier in the day and we don’t have to worry about losing them.

    • Faylinn,
      Thanks so much for telling me about your “mall walking” experiences and tips for walking successfully with your children! Great to know and I’m sure it will be helpful to many others walking the mall with their children in the future.
      Best to you and your family–happy walking!
      -Sandra – JustLoveWalking

  6. I.m a tad late here…but thank you for the tips. I.ll be using a cane while walking….should be fun! 😀

    • You can do it–have fun! Thanks for your comment–let us know how you’re doing!

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