Mall walking It’s a real thing!

Mall walking has seen a growing number of enthusiasts in Hyderabad, thanks to window shopping making physical activity more exciting

Published: 01st December 2021 09:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st December 2021 09:32 AM   |  A+A-

Photo for representation only

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: The pandemic lifestyle and the eventual work-from-home have got us all used to a sedentary way of life. A walk in the park or the neighbourhood may not excite a lot of us, but picture this: going out with friends or family to the mall and coming back having given your body that much-needed physical activity. Feel motivated already? Simply called ‘mall walking’, the interesting form of exercise is making its way to Hyderabad. 

5,000-10,000 steps

Dinaz Vervatwala, a health and wellness expert from the city, shares how she started out and began enjoying mall walking. “I realised the value of mall walking after the city went into a lockdown. While I obviously did go to a mall and would walk around for the practical need of shopping, I never tracked my activity or looked at it as a way to stay fit.  

Not going to a mall and several other places restricted physical activity badly, and once the lockdown was lifted, I started to consciously go out on weekends to the mall. I tracked my steps, they came up to 5,000-10,000 for every trip to the mall! It certainly burned more calories than I thought I would.”  Dinaz mentions her recent trip to Doha, where she ditched her diet and stuck to mall walking to keep her fit. It worked wonders for her body. 

Sun and pollution-proof

Priyanka Mallik, a software engineer and popular influencer who goes by from_vodka_to_nappies on Instagram, has been mall-walking for over a year now. She gives more insight into the concept. “Mall walking has been popular in the West for a long time now, India is slowly warming up to the idea. I think it’s a wonderful idea to walk indoors because you don’t have to worry about extreme temperatures inside a mall. Drinking water and washrooms are easily accessible and window shopping can be a really good motivation to push our limits and complete the step count.”

Cannot replace workout 

Mall walking, however, does not assure you full-body fitness, says Dinaz. “For people who walk a lot, I suggest that they work on some strengthening exercises too, because walking targets only the legs. By doing other exercises you will be able to tone other parts of the body as well. Mall walking can never be a substitute for a proper workout,” the fitness guru clarifies. 

Pitfalls of unhealthy walking 

Mall walking did not find a fan in Kamal Maliramani, the founder of Energizer Yoga, Somajiguda. He explains why: “Healthy walking requires a good surrounding. There should be greenery and the environment must be calm and steady. There’s a reason why people prefer going to a park for a walk — because it’s fresh and there’s silence around. Malls are always playing some music or making announcements.

Most times, this music has beats that keep your heart racing, making you want to fasten your pace as you walk. This isn’t healthy, even mentally, in the long run. One might think it’s helping physically, but it affects your mind. Walking is supposed to be therapeutic and relaxing for your mind, but walking in a mall does the exact opposite.”

More takers

Naznin Suhaer, a product photographer and fashion blogger from the city, has recently grown familiar with the concept and can’t wait to try it. “I think mall walking is a great way to shed those extra kilos without being exposed to the harsh sun and pollution while you walk. Also, the fact that cleanliness and safety are given primary importance in such places works in your favour. Considering the benefits, I would love to try it soon. Mall walking, if popularised in the city, would be an interesting activity for people to explore a whole lot of things while taking a break from the usual jogging or walking on a treadmill,” she says.


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