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Published August 18th 2013
Who says fashion and fitness don't mix?
Image Karingal Facebook
Walking is all about communing with nature right? Trees and birds, a weighty back pack, tough shoes, tougher paths, pain, gain and aching feet.
Well, err no, it's not. Walking is about getting and staying fit and you can walk just about anywhere.
And if you are a shopper like me, you might appreciate knowing that a lot of the larger shopping centres, the ones that have got too big for any other practical purpose, have walking groups.
There are lots of advantages to walking around shopping centres.
Number one reason - you'll never miss another sale.
Number two - the weather is always perfect. How many days a year is it just too hot to walk outside or too chilly or too wet? In climatically controlled shopping centres the weather is always perfect for a walk.
Number three these walks are free. No expensive gym fees or gym gear required.
Chadstone Facebook Lots of space to walk early in the morning
Number four you can see those sales but you can't spend a cent because the walks all happen before the shops open. Perfect for shopaholics such as myself who would be detouring every five minutes just to check out a sales rack.
So here are are some of the organised shopping centre walks around or "mall walks" as they call them in the U.S. And if you know of any others, we would love to hear about them.
Fashionable Footsteps at Chadstone Shopping Centre
An hour's walk around Southland Shopping Centre (stop if you get tired) could see you walking up to 5.8km. Although they do have both a stroller and a strider pace, so never fear. The walks are held from 7.45-8.45am every Tuesday and Thursday.
Register for the walk at Waves Leisure Centre 9559 7116
The Glen Shopping Centre's Community Walking Group.
This group runs (or should I say walks) every Wednesday morning from 7.45am and does laps of the shopping centre. It is lead by an accredited personal trainer (he's not too scary) and sponsored by Rebel Sport
Because it has has been so incredibly popular it is at capacity at present. But keep an eye on their website for changes to this or ask the Information Desk on level 1.
Westfield Walkers at Airport West
Westfield Walkers promise you can walk and talk and meet people in your neighbourhood. It is run in conjunction with the YMCA. Every Tuesday and Thursday 8am
Centro Brandon Park Walking Club, Brandon Park
Meet inside the centre just near Coles; I love walking around and with this walking club - they don't walk to fast or to slow. It's free so I don't get poor and I lose weight. I recommend this to all my family and friends
Chirnside Park Walking Group
"The Dragonflies" walk every Wednesday morning and have done so for the past two years. They start with some basic stretching have a chatty cheerful walk around the centre. Then they get together in the food court for a social coffee. There are a few incentives with this group as they give you a passport when you start and you can earn stamps towards a free coffee and gift voucher. Starts at 7.30am on Wednesdays in Centre Court in front of Boost Juice. More details Chirnside Park Customer Service Team 03 9726 7100.
This is run by Peninsula Health & GP Network. Join trained walk leaders each Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7.45am to 8.45am There is also an afternoon session on Tuesday afternoons at 5.30pm. You do need to register for this one. Registration form is here. The form can be dropped in at the Centro office.
Westfield Walkers Fountain Gate
Run by a qualified YMCA instructor at Westfield Fountain Gate;
if you're worried that you might not be fit enough, don't worry you can walk at your own pace. Every Wednesday and Friday mornings for warm up exercises at 7.45am, followed by a half hour walk, finishing at 8.45am after cool down exercises. Visit the Concierge Desk or call 9704 6666 for a registration form.
Westfield Leisure Walkers Airport West
This one is every Tuesday and Thursday and also run by the YMCA. It starts at 8.00am outside Mio Posto (Near Target) For more information call the YMCA on 9375 3411
Westfield Walkers Knox
This group has been operating for over ten years and has over 550 members but is still continuing to grow. They encourage adults as well as children to join the group. Walkers meet every Tuesday and Thursday morning from 7:30am on Level 1, near the Medicare entrance. Again this walk is non competitive and there are a variety of walks within the centre of varying distances and intensity. For further information, contact Concierge on 9801 5966 or visit the Concierge Desk on Level 2, near Rebel Sport.
Westfield Walkers Geelong
This walk is organised by the Heart Foundation. Group meets every Tuesday at 7:45am. Meet at the Concierge Desk, located on the Ground Floor.
Image from Knox Shopping Centre
Most of the groups have coffee/breakfast and a chat afterwards if you can afford the time. And if you do that hopefully the shops will be open and you can walk back and catch those sales.
http://www.westfield.com.au/knox/centre-information/westfield-walkers Knox has one see link above. Can't find one for Eastland but you might want to ring them and find out if they do.
If anyone knows there is one for Donacaster that would be great news.