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Mall walking program appeals to many people

June 06, 1997

By TERI JOHNSON

Staff Writer

Take a walk on the tiled side.

Fitness experts say it doesn't matter where you exercise, as long as you do it, but the lure of air conditioning in the summer and heat in the winter can be a powerful motivator.

Controlled weather conditions, a level floor surface and the chance to socialize with others are some of the reasons people choose to walk at a mall.

Heart & Sole, a program at Valley Mall in Hagerstown, has about 3,000 registered walkers, said Stephanne Saunders, marketing manager at the mall. About 100 walk on a daily basis, she said.

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The free program is sponsored by the mall, American Heart Association and Washington County Hospital Association. Hours are 8 to 10 each morning before the mall opens, and walkers follow a half-mile course.

Arlene and Terry Mose of Hagerstown have been walking at Valley Mall for about two months. They do four or five laps a day, or a minimum of two miles.

The two, who have been married for 46 years, used to walk around their neighborhood. They said walking indoors eliminates the obstacles they used to encounter, such as broken pavement and unleashed dogs.

The routine helps give them the stamina for other recreational activities they enjoy, including yard work.

"I think it's an energizer," said Arlene Mose, 63. "I feel better and have more energy during the day."

"You see a lot of people you haven't seen in a while," added Terry Mose, 64.

That morning they saw their neighbor, Andy Hamilton. The 71-year-old Hagerstown man said walking helps alleviate stiff joints.

"It keeps you limber," Hamilton said.

Halfway resident Buddy Eardley, 65, had a heart attack in 1990, and he said he walks to keep his weight down.

He takes five laps around the mall each time, and his quick pace sometimes prompts other walkers to call him "Speedy."

Eardley, who has had five angioplasties, knows the importance of his routine.

"I'd much rather be doing something else than walking around in circles, but I know I have to do it," he said.

Mall walking program

To participate in Heart & Sole at Valley Mall, walkers complete a release form and information card and are issued an identification badge to wear.

For information about the program, call Valley Mall at 301-582-0700, American Heart Association at 301-739-1022 or Washington County Hospital Association at 301-790-8000.

Walking Tip Sheet available

To receive more hints from Walking Magazine about sticking to a walking program, send a long stamped, self-addressed envelope to Walking Tip Sheet, 9-11 Harcourt St., Boston, Mass. 02116.

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