Moving U: Dadeland Mall Walkers Find Fitness, Friendships & Fun

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KENDALL (CBSMiami) — It’s 9:00 in the morning at a quiet Dadeland Mall before it is open for business, a perfect time for a group of about 25 seniors to enjoy an aerobics class outside Saks Fifth Avenue.

The Dadeland Walkers gather four mornings a week for aerobics, yoga, tai chi and walking inside the air-conditioned mall in Kendall.  CBS4 Anchor Eliott Rodriguez joined them one recent morning for aerobics and a pleasant walk around the mall.

“It gets me up in the morning and allows me to meet my friends,” said mall walker Joan Schmidt. “I love it.”

“It allows me to exercise in a shopping mall with air conditioning,” said mall walker Fernando Bestard. “What’s not to like?”

Linda Reynolds has been a Dadeland walker since she retired from office work nine years ago. She likes mall walking so much that she contacted the CBS4 Moving U program to tell us about it.

“I was behind a desk in front of a computer,” Reynolds said. “But I needed to exercise so this gives me the activity I need to keep me busy.” She added. “The mall classes provide great encouragement, camaraderie and new friendships. This group gives us some reason to get up and get moving on a daily basis. When one in the group doesn’t show up, we always inquire with others ‘do you know where Mary is?’  We all have our aches and pains, but Dadeland Walkers keeps us moving! The best part is that it is free!”

The Dadeland Walkers program is sponsored by Baptist Health and Dadeland Mall.

“It’s beyond great,” said exercise instructor Nan Imbesi. “It’s a year-round meet and greet. The walkers get exercise and when it’s over they go to the food court and have breakfast.”

Linda Reynolds said she steers clear of spending too much money at the mall, and avoids ice cream and other sweet temptations in the Food Court.

“That’s probably not a very good idea,” Reynolds said when asked by CBS4 Anchor Eliott Rodriguez to join her for an ice cream sundae after their walk.

To sign up for the Dadeland Mall walker program, go to www.baptisthealth.net/wellness or send an email to CommunityExercise@BaptistHealth.net.

You can also reach the Baptist Health Wellness program by calling 786-467-5680.

Baptist also offers a walking program at the Coral Square Mall in Broward and free fitness classes at other locations throughout Miami-Dade and Broward.

Remember, CBS4 wants to know what’s Moving U. Email your story to movingu@cbsmiami.com and let us know what you’re doing to stay healthy and happy. Perhaps what moves you will inspire others as well!

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