Maintaining a walking program is a good way to keep your vestibular system (inner ear balance system) working, and it has many other benefits for cardiovascular and mental health. And even though the weather is getting cooler, you don’t have to give up your walking routine. In the Twin Cities, there are plenty of options for free or low-cost places to walk indoors – and not just malls, if that’ s not your thing.
Here are 5 tips for places to take your daily walk – most of them are free.
· View the works of the masters: Take in beautiful artwork while you stroll through the Minneapolis Institute of Art. General admission is free – there are fees for special extra exhibits, but most of the museum is included in the free admission. http://new.artsmia.org/visit/
· Ice rinks, gyms, community centers: Maybe you’d prefer a walking track, or perhaps you’d like to be in a lively, high-energy environment as you walk around an ice rink or school gym. If so, here are some great options – most are free: http://guide.twincitiesmoms.com/where-to-walk-indoor-for-free-twin-cities/
· Tropical escape: Duck in out of the frosty air and warm up in the conservatory at Como Zoo. They change their flower displays in the sunken garden seasonally. Please note: There may be uneven surfaces in some portions of the conservatory and sunken garden. http://www.comozooconservatory.org/attractions/
· Stroll through the skyways: You can catch views of Minneapolis and St. Paul’s downtown areas from the comfort of this elaborate, interconnected pathway. Most portions can be accessed by elevators. Some areas may have slight inclines, so walking sticks may be helpful for balance. Here’s a map of the Minneapolis skyway system: http://bit.ly/2e4gky1. The following link has great tips on how to navigate the St. Paul skyways, with ideas for sections that are especially interesting to wander through, such as the Union Depot and the Children’s Museum: http://www.skywaymom.com/saint-paul-skyway-101/.
· Mall walking: If you like to mix your cardio with some window shopping, check out this link to the area’s malls and their hours for walking: http://local.aarp.org/minneapolis-mn/mall-walking/. The queen of all malls, the Mall of America, is a great option if you like a busy atmosphere. According to their website, a lap around one level of the megamall is 1.15 miles.
Try a Game: On your walks, try completing our Walking Bingo Challenge. Below are two bingo cards. See how many tasks you can check off on your walks. And don’t forget to let us know if you get BINGO!
Photo Credit: Minneapolis skyway photo credit: Wikimedia Commons