Winter walk indoors at these shopping and recreation centres

The doors open as early as 5:45 and 6 a.m., and you can join the dozens of seniors pacing out some or all of the 10,000 steps recommended for optimal daily fitness.

Mall walking promotes fitness and provides a social opportunity.
Mall walking promotes fitness and provides a social opportunity.

By Cindy McKay

It is discouraging when Old Man Winter gets a grip on our city. Unless you are related to the Eskimo, fitting in the recommended 10,000 steps for optimal daily fitness becomes a challenge that can quickly lose its appeal at minus 25 with a wind chill of minus 37 degrees.

Winnipeg is fortunate that most shopping and recreation centres offer walkers the option of indoor comfort. The advantages are many. The climate-controlled environment allows you to dress comfortably, walk safely at any pace you choose and enjoy a change of scenery, since the window dressings often change and showcase new products. Most Winnipeg malls host formal walking groups which offers participants an opportunity to socialize while on their way to physical fitness.

Kildonan Place’s Trekkers & Strollers is the largest mall walking group in Winnipeg with over 900 registered members. Members meet at the mall’s Lenscrafters entrance, Monday to Saturday from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to noon. To join, would-be walkers can visit guest services at centre court or call Bernadetter Romance at 204-661-6116 for more information.

Portage Place opens its doors to walkers daily at Edmonton Court from 6:30 a.m. Monday to Sunday. This downtown location is unique as the skywalk to the Bay is located on one side of the plaza and the skywalk to the MTS Centre is located on the other, opening up for the walkers a route through the entire downtown core. “The Walkabouts” is a private group of some 10 or 20 walkers that meet at 1:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday on the second floor by the water fountain. For more information about The Walkabouts call 204-940-8140.

Garden City opens its doors for walkers at 7 a.m. daily. Every morning at 8 a.m. the exercise group “Also” organize for fun and fitness. More information is available at 204-338-7076.

Polo Park does not have a formal walking program but dozens of Winnipeggers gather each morning to make use of the facility. Mall opens at 7 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. on Sunday.

St. Vital Centre opens its doors at 7:30 a.m. Monday to Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday.
Many recreation centres have indoor tracks that also offer walking in a safe environment. For more information on any of the following regarding membership fees and training programs call 311 or visit http://winnipeg.ca/cms/recreation.

The Cindy Klassen Recreation Complex, located at 999 Sergeant Avenue, opens its doors at 6 a.m. weekdays and 7 a.m on the weekend.

Peguis Trail Fitness Centre is at 1400 Rothesay Street, North Kildonan, in the basement of the Chief Peguis Junior High School. It opens at 6 a.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

St. James Assiniboia Centennial Pool complex, at 644 Parkdale Street in St. James, opens at 6 a.m. weekdays, 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Pan Am Pool indoor track, located at 25 Poseidon Bay in south River Heights, is open from 5:45 a.m. weekdays, 6:30 a.m. Saturdays and 9 a.m. Sundays.

For those who choose to walk outside, there is a winter walking condition website at http://www.surefoot.org which updates conditions regularly.

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