Cayuga Health (CH) and The Shops At Ithaca Mall have teamed up to provide Walk for Wellness, a new walking program at the Ithaca Mall. To make it fun and easy, foot decals have been installed throughout the Mall to help keep walkers on track while walking their way to health. One time around the inside of the Ithaca Mall is approximately one mile.
"We met with the Cayuga Health team last year to discuss how we could remind the public how beneficial mall walking can be," states Gina Speno, General Manager, The Shops at Ithaca Mall. "Cayuga Health really stepped up by providing foot decals and a branded kiosk in the mall to assist in promoting mall walking. We are excited to launch this program - just in time for the change in weather."
Mall walking hours will be:
Monday - Saturday: 8am - 10am, Noon - 2pm, 5pm - 9pm
Sunday: 8 am - 10am [Dog walking allowed from 8-10am, must have updated shot records and be on a leash], 10am - noon, 3pm - 6pm
"Walking is an excellent form of physical activity and has been shown to have numerous health benefits,” states Dr. Martin Stallone, Chief Executive Officer of Cayuga Medical Center and Cayuga Health. "These include but are not limited to lowering the risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes; having a positive impact on depression, weight, and fall risk. In addition, walking (and subsequent increased physical activity) has been shown to delay and reduce symptoms related to cognitive decline and dementia. This finding may be because malls’ enclosed environments, safe walking surfaces, places to rest, convenient rest rooms, and absence of traffic offer fewer distractions to those who are cognitively challenged. A walking program allows a person who is inactive or unfit to increase their physical activity safely."
"We encourage walkers to grab a friend and walk in a safe, warm, indoor atmosphere," adds Speno. "Get a great low impact workout, meet new friends and 'window shop' as you walk. We have free water bottles and pedometers available for anyone who wants to participate in the program. Simply register at www.Cayugamed.org/walk-for-wellness and pick up at The Mall Management Office, Monday through Friday 9am - 4pm."
The Walk for Wellness program encourages walkers to go at their own pace and as far as they feel comfortable when they first begin. Then walkers can gradually increase speed and distance to build strength and stamina over time. Cayuga Health also offers a Blood Pressure machine located near the entrance of the movie theater. Walkers are able to test their blood pressure and check in on their health as they participate. Just get out there and follow the footpath to wellness!