Good Samaritan Health System and Lebanon Valley Mall have partnered to bring a mall walker program to Lebanon County residents. The free program encourages residents to use the mall as a place to get their daily exercise and improve their health. “This is the perfect time of year to launch a program such as this,” said William Mulligan, vice president, strategic planning and marketing at Good Samaritan, “not only is it right after the holidays when people are most likely trying to shed a few pounds, but the cold weather and road conditions can make walking outside difficult. This program allows walkers a safe, climate controlled place to exercise.”
Mall visitors can also check their blood pressure for free at Good Samaritan’s Heart Check stand in the middle of the mall. “The blood pressure machine allows you to keep track of your blood pressure every time you visit. If you notice that your blood pressure is too high or too low, you can share this information with your physician. It’s an extra bonus that is not available in other walking locations,” Mulligan said.
The official launch of the Health Steps program was held on Saturday January 14, 2012 and featured a ribbon cutting ceremony followed by the first official walk. Approximately 100 participants started the program and took part in the festivities, wearing Mall Walker t-shirts. In addition, Good Samaritan, the American Heart Association, YMCA and Lebanon Cardiology participated at a health fair in center court, offering heart healthy exercise, diet and other wellness information.
The mall walker program is not something completely new to the Lebanon Valley Mall. “We’ve had mall walkers here every morning for as long as I can remember,” said Victoria Layser, leasing manager and Marketing and Common Area Coordinator at Lebanon Valley Mall, “implementing Healthy Steps really is a way to encourage more walkers to come on out and use the mall for their daily exercise.” She adds, “We have prize incentives for walkers who completely fill their lap cards which can be picked up at locations throughout the mall and at the mall office.”
To become a member of the Healthy Steps program, walkers simply need to pick up a brochure and a lap card. For the convenience of the walkers, Lebanon Valley Mall opens its doors for special morning hours which are: Monday – Saturday at 8:00 a.m. and Sundays at 9:00 a.m. The mall closes at 9:00pm Monday – Saturday and 5:00pm on Sunday. Mall walkers may choose any time during these hours to do their walking and do it as part of a group or on their own.