Walk this way to shop for fitness

Rachael Pringle (centre) with some of the Middleton Grange Shopping Centre staff who have been trained as Mall Walk leaders: (left to right) Linda Gray, Mark Sargent, Adam Goodwin, Ian Lavery, Tony Duncan and Tony Short
Rachael Pringle (centre) with some of the Middleton Grange Shopping Centre staff who have been trained as Mall Walk leaders: (left to right) Linda Gray, Mark Sargent, Adam Goodwin, Ian Lavery, Tony Duncan and Tony Short
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A SHOPPING centre is opening its doors to help people of all ages to get fit

Middleton Grange Shopping Centre is hosting mall walking sessions every Sunday from 9am to 10am from this weekend before its shops open for business.

The sessions are being run as part of Hartlepool Borough Council’s Walk About In Hartlepool scheme, which aims to get more people stepping out for a healthier lifestyle.

Rachael Pringle, the council’s sport and physical activity officer who has trained 16 of the shopping centre’s staff as mall walk leaders, said: “This is a great idea from the shopping centre.

“Mall walking enables people to enjoy a guided group walk around a circuit of the shopping centre in a safe, warm, dry, attractive environment and on a nice flat walking surface.

“Walking has so many excellent benefits – it improves fitness and helps maintain a more balanced weight and because it strengthens the leg muscles it can reduce the risk of falls among older people.”

Centre manager Mark Rycraft added: “I have seen first-hand how really popular mall walking is in the United States – especially among older people - so I was very keen to introduce it here.

“People can come and enjoy a nice stroll with our friendly staff in the quiet hour before the malls become busy and because we’re holding the sessions on Sundays there’s the added benefit of free parking in the basement car park.

“After their walk, people can enjoy snapping up an early bargain in our shops or sit and enjoy a drink and a snack in one of the cafes.”

The mall walking sessions are free and there’s no need to book – please meet at the south (Park Road) entrance of the shopping centre just before 9am.

For more information about this and other walking activities in Hartlepool, contact Rachael Pringle on 01429 284052 or email: rachael.pringle@hartlepool.gov.uk