Mall walkers work up a sweat

PERKINS TWP. Becky Montague, 60, of Perkins Township, makes her "morning commute" Monday t
May 24, 2010



Becky Montague, 60, of Perkins Township, makes her "morning commute" Monday through Friday.

Instead of a car, Montague pounds the pavement or rather the floor of the Sandusky Mall.

"I've always been physically active," Montague said. "This is just a way for me to stay active."

Mall walkers can cover several one-mile laps throughout the mall before any of the shoppers show up at 10 a.m..

"It's kind of a unique experience. There are speed walkers and slow walkers. You get it all," said Kim Rubin, mall marketing director. "They're on a mission."

A.G. Conley, 79, and his wife, Rita Conley, 65, both of Sandusky, met 15 years ago when they walked the aisles of the mall. They just celebrated their one year anniversary in May.

"I like it because the floor's level and the temperature is regulated," A.G. Conley said. "It's safe and comfortable to walk."

A.G. and Rita prefer to come in at 7 a.m. since it gets their blood pumping.

"Sometimes in the morning I'm not awake. When I come here, it wakes me up," Rita said.

"Caffeine can't do the same thing that exercise does," A.G. said.

A.G. likes to get his heart thumping.

"It's one of the best exercises a person can have," A.G. said. "If you don't get that much of a heartbeat, you're not doing yourself any good."

Sisters Mary Ann Fox, 75, of Sandusky, and Trudy Doyle, 78, of Port Charlotte, Fla., have been mall walking for about 25 years.

"I can walk my own speed, and it's air conditioned," Fox said.

"And you get to see what sales the store are having," Doyle added.

Mall walking is better than outdoor exercise since there are no bugs and the mall plays good music, Doyle said.

Another benefit for mall walkers is a nurse checks their blood pressure Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

"Our generation is going to live longer than our parents and grandparents, and in order to enjoy that longer life I need to exercise," Montague said.