When thinking about a trip to the mall, some people dread the crowds, some look forward to finding a bargain or two, and others simply plan to do a little window shopping. However, when Bunni Posey heads to Grossmont Center, she looks forward to an hour of brisk exercise and catching up with some of her closest friends.
Posey is a member of the Grossmont Mall Walkers. Each week, she and more than 20 others gather on Saturday mornings for an hour of cardiovascular exercise led by an instructor. The program, which is free to the public, was established more than three decades ago and is supported by the Sharp Grossmont Hospital Senior Resource Center.
“I really enjoy the mall walking program,” says Posey. “I’ve created a lot of friendships and always look forward to going.”
Posey, who works in a group home for teen girls, is one of the youngest participants. At 53 years old, she is lovingly called the “baby” of the group and appreciates the care and camaraderie of the other participants, all older adults.
“If you miss a Saturday morning, your friends are concerned about you,” she says. “They want to make sure you’re OK. It’s like a family.”
The program offers Posey the chance to enjoy regular exercise in a pedestrian-friendly space that is accessible to participants of all fitness levels. She says that the regular walking has helped relieve her knee pain and trim her waistline.
“The greatest benefits of mall walking are staying fit, relieving pain and making friends,” she says. “Some people can’t afford a gym membership, but everyone needs friendship and some kind of fitness program to stay healthy. This program does it all and I tell everyone we pass by when walking through the mall, ‘Come join us — it’s great and it’s free!’”
Visit sharp.com to learn more about the Grossmont Mall Walkers program or contact the Sharp Grossmont Senior Resource Center at 619-740-4214.