Serving Metropolitan Detroit Since 1944

Local Shopping Mall Are a Great Place to Walk

For most of us, walking is a fudamental life process we don't give a whole lot of thought to each day. But walking can be an ideal form of exercise for anyone with joint issues or breathing difficulties. In fact, according to Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D., author of the book, Healthy Aging, walking can even be aerobic activity, which is healthy for your heart, if done vigorously enough. Weil goes on to say in his book, "I have long promoted walking as an excellent form of exercise because it requires no equipment, everyone knows how to do it, and it carries the lowest risk of injury."

For those striving to remain active, fall and winter bring an especially tough challenge to efforts at healthy living. While jogging, walking or bicycling through the park or neighborhood can be enjoyable activities during the warm weather months, chilly air and snow on the ground can bring an abrupt end to anyone's exercise routine.

Here in the metro Detroit area there exists a remedy to the challenge of exercising in the winter: the local shopping mall.

A mall walker known as Deborah says, "What I like about walking in malls is they're safe, convenient, they're well-lit." Deborah also struggles with arthritis and adds, "I love walking in the mall; I hope they never shut it down."

A climate-controlled environment free of rain and ice can be an inviting place to spend an hour walking in the early morning hours. While the stores inside many shopping malls don't open their doors to customers until 10 a.m., the doors to the mall portion of some shopping centers open anywhere from 7 to 8:30 a.m. Featured here are four local malls which offer early morning (and all day) hours to accommodate walkers.

Fairlane Town Center, located at 18900 Michigan Avenue, east of Evergreen Road, in Dearborn. The mall opens at 7 a.m., Monday thru Friday, and at 9 a.m. on weekends. The mall has three levels, each a different length ranging from .20 of a mile to .85 of a mile, if one were to walk the perimeter. Walking the perimeter of all three levels equals 1.85 miles. For more information about Fairlane Mall and its walking program, call 313-593-3330.

Westland Shopping Center is located at 35000 Warren, at the corner of Wayne Road in Westland. The mall was built in 1965 and was one of the first enclosed shopping malls in the country. Walking the perimeter of the mall, including all the arcades (hallways) equals .75 of a mile. The mall is one level. Doors begin opening at 7 a.m. Monday thru Saturday, and walkers are asked to use the doors on the east side of the shopping center, near Olga's Kitchen. On Sunday, doors open at 10 a.m. For more information call 734-425-5001 or visit

Southland Center Mall is located at 23000 Eureka Road at Racho Road in Taylor. The mall is one level and the length of the entire perimeter is just over one mile. Doors open to walkers at 7:30, Monday thru Saturday, and at 9 a .m. on Sunday. For additional information, call 734-374-2800.

Laurel Park Place is located at 37700 Six Mile Road at Newburgh in Livonia. Laurel Park is one level and one lap around the perimeter is .6 of a mile. Doors open to walkers at 8 a.m. Monday thru Saturday and at 10 a.m. on Sunday. For further information call 734-462-1100.

Another mall walker, Judy, says she has been walking Westland Mall for years. "The mall is a familiar place to everyone," she says. "You can come and get it done before work."

Any Southeast Michigan resident who finds that weather puts a halt to their fitness routine can always consider using the local shopping mall as a venue to keep active during the winter. The best part is there's one near you.


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