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Walking For A Work Out

March 2, 2012, 6:14 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

Walking For A Work Out

Not only are area gyms busier, but more people are hitting the halls at the mall.

Wilson and Cathy Bamesberger are part of a growing group of people who walk inside when weather conditions get worse outside.

"At our age, we're afraid of falling. Old people fall and break bones," Wilson said.

They've noticed a recent increase in mall walkers.

"We also have music, wonderful music, our kind of music, not rachety, yachety. Haha," Cathy said.

Not only is the Western Mall busier with walkers, but area gyms have also seen more people.

"This winter has been great for people who want to work out outside, especially the downtown area. They do a great job with keeping their sidewalks clean, but with the last week with the ice storm, we've definitely seen an increase in our flow in here," YMCA Healthy Lifestyles Director Adam Reppe said.

Reppe says you should also make sure you're safe while working out inside.

"Older populations, I'd definitely stick to walking or even recumbent bikes or EFX. They're definitely lower impact than running or walking," Reppe said.

While walking is easier on joints, it can burn as much as 40 percent fewer calories than running over the same distance.

"With running you're working harder, so you'll burn more calories in a shorter amount of time. Walking you can still get that calorie burn, but it will just take a little longer," Reppe said.

But no matter what activity you choose, Reppe says it's important to stay active and safe, which is exactly what the Bamesbergers have decided to do together.

"As you get older, you want to stiffen up, and that keeps the energy and the strength in your bones," Cathy said.

Making weight training part of your exercise routine also helps. Experts say it improves bone health and muscle mass.

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