Walking indoors provides alternative exercise


Anne Kelly, Judy Antilla, Lloyd Ville and Pearl Ville walk indoors regularly for exercise at the David R. Schechter Community Center.

SENIOR LIFE Darrell Woehler

Walking is great exercise. But doing the chore in a climate-controlled location makes it a pleasure. 

Linked to the 55 and Over Club in Satellite Beach, members of the Indoor Walking Group (for adults and seniors) go to the gymnasium at the David R. Schechter Community Center on S. Patrick Drive from 8 to 9 a.m. during the fall and winter and from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. during the summer months. There is no charge and anyone can join the group.

“It gives you a lot of energy because when I come home and have breakfast, I then work in my yard,” said Myrna Jenkins, 78, a volunteer facilitator of the Indoor Walking Group. “Usually we have 16 to 20 walkers in the regular season and in the summer about 10 or 11 each time. It is air conditioned and it has a nice floor so you don’t pound pavement as if walking outside. Twenty times around the gym is a mile.”

Jenkins, who has returned from a walking hiatus to volunteer to open the door in the morning, provides a clock for those who want to walk a certain amount of time. She also provides music so they can walk to
a beat.

A pleasant group, they are friends who share doctor recommendations, news, restaurants and recipes as they gather. The people are from all walks of life.

Walking for 10 years since retiring, Judy Anttila of Satellite Beach walks because it is convenient.

“You are walking in air conditioning on a rubberized surface and the music forces you to walk to the beat. It is non-competitive, you walk at your own pace.”

An additional benefit is the talking with the walking. And you had better arrive every day or those there will want to know why you were absent.

Many Brevard walkers visit the Melbourne Square Mall on West New Haven that opens at 9 a.m., an hour  before the mall officially opens. Not an organized or sponsored walking group, the mall is open to anyone interested in walking, said Lesli Smith, director of mall marketing. The mall welcomes “all ages and walking abilities in a safe, climate-controlled environment with a smooth even walking surface.

“All doors are open for access and the mall security is here,” Smith said. “We have about 100 walkers with mothers with strollers observed walking throughout the day.”