In honor of National Walking Day, New York State’s largest shopping, dining, and entertainment venue is rolling out Step to It, a new walking program to encourage fitness at Destiny USA!
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Health and Human Services, adults who engage in regular physical activity, including walking, are at lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, breast and colon cancers, and depression. Mall walking is also great for losing weight and improving sleep. (Source: CDC Mall Walking Resource Guide)
“The best part about Step to It is it’s free and always the perfect temperature – it’s always sunny and 72.4 degrees inside Destiny USA,” said Destiny USA Director of Marketing Nikita Jankowski. “We have regular mall walkers who have been taking advantage of our facility for years that have even started their own Destiny USA walking groups.”
Helen Brunson has been walking at Destiny USA for 15 years. She started walking after she retired.
“It’s open early, it’s convenient, indoor, and seems to be safe,” said Brunson.
“I retired four years ago, and I needed something to do physically and mentally, so, she (Brunson) was the one who enticed me to come out and start walking, and it just took off from there,” said mall walker, Sarah Hill. “For our mental health, we need to walk.
Destiny USA has new walking maps for the 2.4 million square foot building, that include starting markers on four floors. The maps can be found here or by scanning the QR codes on the new directional Step to It floor decals. Additionally, there are markers placed every 0.25 miles to keep walkers on track.
Walkers like Joanne Wallace and her father still show up to support their friends.
“We’ve been walking here for years and Dad got sick, so he kind of sits here now and we cheer everyone else on,” said Wallace. “It’s very nice, safe and quiet.”
“It’s a nice place to walk and keeps my heart doctor happy,” laughed mall walker, Lee Wiggins (walking 10 years). “I don’t see a problem with social distancing. We do it before the mall opens – the first floor and then come up and then do a lap on this floor and sit down and have coffee.”
Other benefits of mall walking include cleanliness, lighting, accessible restrooms, seating, and the presence of security at all hours.