Shopping malls have long been the domain of avid walkers who barely glance in store windows while they tally their steps. But an increasing number of shuttered shops, paired with the trend of creating lifestyle destinations, have prompted many malls to add fitness options to their offerings.
An emphasis on self-care areas has become a trend as industry experts cite an increasing number of boutique fitness centers and wellness options interspersed among the traditional food courts and clothing shops. Local shopping meccas are no exception as The Greene Towne Center has an LA Fitness on site and Austin Landing is home to the CycleBar, Orangetheory Fitness and the newly-opened Club Pilates.
The Heartfulness Center in The Mall at Fairfield Commons offers a variety of wellness options from guided relaxation and meditation sessions to yoga classes, free of charge. The Heartfulness Institute is a nonprofit educational organization that promotes peace and wellness across the country and around the world. In addition to the center’s regularly scheduled offerings, they also recently launched Tai Chi classes in their mall location.
While there is a cost or membership requirement for most fitness facilities, many malls also offer a variety of free fitness options. The Greene has sponsored free events, like outdoor yoga, during the summer in their Town Square. And The Mall at Fairfield Commons caters to their mall walkers with free Premier Health Mall Walker events several times a year.
“We have mall walkers here all the time but, every few months, we have special events, in conjunction with Premier Health,” marketing director Dawn Mader said. “Doctors come in and talk about different topics.”
The next event is scheduled for June 6 with a physician from the Premier Cardiovascular Institute speaking. Blood pressure screenings will also be available free of charge in the food court.
So, while bargain shopping can burn a few calories, malls are adding more and more lifestyle and experiential options into the mix.