A group of fitness seekers recently took advantage of a warm, sunny day to practice yoga outdoors at the Great Lakes Mall in Mentor.
The class, which took place on July 13 in the parking area across from the Fuji Restaurant concourse, was the first of the Great Lakes Mall Summer Sweat Series running through Sept. 17.
Michael Hope and Angela Mather, co-owners of Hope Family Fitness & Play in the mall, are leading groups of exercise enthusiasts Mondays and Thursdays in free fitness classes which include stretching for seniors and a bootcamp along with yoga.
“We believe that our programs are fun, stimulating, and bring people together in a safe mode for them to socialize and get fit at the same time,” Hope said. “We want to incorporate a little of something for everyone with the Summer Sweat workouts.”
Susan Fidel of Willoughby wore a smile along with her yoga gear while exercising in the outdoor space that promoted social distancing.
“I’m a huge yoga fan and with the virus it’s a great thing to be outside,” she said, adding that she’s not yet comfortable in other situations where the local coronavirus might be lingering.
Joyce Merlini of Painesville Township is a recent retiree who said she was scrolling through the Internet seeking fitness opportunities when she discovered the events posted on the Great Lakes Mall website.
In addition to walking to stay in shape she had hoped to take up cycling but wasn’t able to find any bicycles in the area to purchase. Many reports state that bicycles currently are in short supply due to the high demand.
Attempting yoga for the first time at the class was Cary Weber of Mentor. She retains her fit figure by regularly walking 20,000 steps every day but wanted to give the art of yoga which focuses on the mind as well as body a try.
Weber also took part in the Great Lakes Mall Shop with your Pet event on July 11 and said she appreciates what the center is doing to reach out to people.
“I think it’s a good idea as far as the extension of the mall for the community,” she said.
Great Lakes Mall General Manager Rob Dascoli said that he’s pleased to offer the exercise series.
“In the midst of the pandemic and uncertainty we are facing, we know that many Lake County residents are feeling both physically and emotionally exhausted. We’re excited to offer Great Lakes Mall as a space where our community can come to safely relax and recharge.”
Hope noted that regardless of the uncertain times exercise is important for mental and physical health.
“We have seen many newer clients that have gained weight and developed other physical ailments by not working out as a result of COVID,” he said. “In addition, it is extremely important for people to stay healthy and boost their immunity by exercise and de-stressing.
“Stress is a huge contributor to many major diseases and yoga and exercise will reduce that.”
For more information on the Summer Sweat Series and to sign up for free classes visit www.shopgreatlakesmall.com.
— to www.news-herald.com