Great Lakes Mall outdoor summer series highlights health, fitness | Health

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.

Fitness seekers recently took part in a free yoga class across from Fuji restaurant at the Great Lakes Mall. Yoga is one portion of a free Summer Sweat Series that also offers Senior Stretch and Body Bootcamp/Core classes.

“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.

Summer Sweat 4

Susan Fidel of Willoughby takes part in a yoga class in the parking area of the Great Lakes Mall.

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.

Summer Sweat 5

Cary Weber of Mentor dons a protective mask while participating in an outdoor fitness class at the Great Lakes Mall.

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.”

Summer Sweat 3

Mike Hope is the co-owner of Hope Family Fitness & Play in Great Lakes Mall that is heading up a summer exercise series.

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

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