Green leaves dotting the floors of the South Hill Mall are catching the attention of shoppers.
So are some new signs donning the name of the mall’s new indoor fitness trail, the Puyal-LOOP.
“It’s a quarter-mile all the way around with exercise posts in between and we’re super excited to have it here as a place for people to come and start that fitness journey,” said Patty Summers, the mall’s marketing director.
The trail starts outside of JC Penny’s and follows along to Sears. From there, walkers can complete the loop back to JC Penny’s. The trail is sponsored by the Pulse Heart Institute.
Every day, the South Hill Mall opens its doors near Gene Juarez Salon and Spa at 7 a.m. specifically for those who want to walk the mall. Walkers must register to do so, and receive a card.
One of those walking groups is Fit4Mom in Puyallup, a group that promotes fitness for moms. It was also the inspiration for the new fitness loop.
“We decided we wanted to open that up for everybody,” Summers said.
The mall partnered with Fit4Mom franchise owner Lisa McCann to come up with the exercises at each of the ten stops along the trail. McCann worked in the physical therapy field in Puyallup, where she’s lived since 2015. She started with Fit4Mom in 2016.
“Knowing what I know in physical therapy is that fitness declines if we’re not using our muscles and being active,” McCann said. “I think (the loop) will bring an enhanced knowledge of activities people can do to promote their health.”
Summers said the trail is the beginning of its Mall Walker Program.
“We’re trying to move in the direction of making (South Hill Mall) a gathering place,” Summers said.
The trail will be implemented into future events, including the annual Dare to Be Exceptional walk in October in recognition of National Bullying Prevention Month.
The trail, which was introduced with a ribbon-cutting by the Puyallup Sumner Chamber of Commerce on July 22, could be implemented into other local malls, Summers said.
For now, the trail is here to stay, catching the eyes of shoppers and encouraging them to get active.
“It just kind of sparks that interest or that question of, ‘Why is this important?’” McCann said. “Just from that loop you’re providing that caveat to (health) education.”