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Take a City Walking Tour: Exercise & History Together!

Alexandra Williams, MA
What movie with Harrison Ford was filmed here?

What movie with Harrison Ford was filmed here?

Many people ask us, “I am not ready to join a gym, yet I know I need to exercise. What can I do?” While there are many answers, one that I find really fun is to take a walking tour. You stop so often, and are focused on the history and design of the local sights, so it’s easy to get in a nice long walk without even realizing it…or sweating!

Downtown Walking Tour

A few weeks ago I was part of an invited group of bloggers who got to participate in a walking tour of downtown Los Angeles, courtesy of the Los Angeles Conservancy. First off, I learned that the Conservancy came into being in order to save the downtown L.A. Central Library from being torn down after an earthquake, then arson, put it on the list for demolition. Can you even imagine the library NOT being there?

Until the 1950s, L.A.’s skyscrapers were limited to 150’ in height in order to let in as much of the Southern California sun as possible. The rule was then changed to a rule called 13:1, which meant you could build a 13-story skyscraper under certain space conditions. So the Conservancy worked a deal where they sold the air space above them to U.S. Bank (aka Library Tower), which wanted to build up higher than 13 stories. Go take the tour, look at the very tall buildings next to the library, and do the math!

History in Pictures

In the past, I walked around downtown L.A simply to get from point A to point B. Little did I know how much beauty and history was lurking all around me! These pictures give a hint:

Time for a walk around downtown L.A.

Time for a walk around downtown L.A.

Entrance to the Pacific Mutual Building - Designed to Impress

Entrance to the Pacific Mutual Building – Designed to Impress

Detail from the Pacific Mutual Building Entrance

Detail from the Pacific Mutual Building Entrance

Built in 1945, one of the last vestiges of Book Row.

Built in 1954, one of the last vestiges of Book Row.

Pool at the L.A. Central Library

Pool at the L.A. Central Library

Words of Wisdom

Words of Wisdom

Islamic-influenced ceiling in the L.A. Central Library.

Islamic-influenced ceiling in the L.A. Central Library.

Entrance to the Edison Building, aka Torrey Pines Bank

Entrance to the Edison Building, aka Torrey Pines Bank

The elevator lobby in the Edison Building

The elevator lobby in the Edison Building

Art isn't Always Small

Art isn’t Always Small

Angel's Flight - Closed for Repairs

Angel’s Flight – Closed for Repairs

Central Market L.A. - We tasted our way through it!

Central Market L.A. – We tasted our way through it!

Entrance to Grand Central Market in downtown L.A.

Entrance to Grand Central Market in downtown L.A.

Sadly, Harrison Ford isn't listed on this Bradbury Building Directory.

Sadly, Harrison Ford isn’t listed on this Bradbury Building Directory

Look up: The Bradbury Building

Look up: The Bradbury Building

Our Excellent Guide from the L.A. Conservancy

Our Excellent Guide from the L.A. Conservancy

Even though I grew up in L.A. County and went to many museums and events as a kid (my mom was big on getting us all cultured up!!!), I hadn’t really explored downtown before (nor been interested to do so). Strange, considering how many city walking tours I’ve been on around the world. No matter; I’m hooked now, and have already made plans to return. As a matter of fact, the tickets to see “The Nightmare Before Christmas” at the stunning Orpheum Theatre arrived yesterday!

By the time the tour was over, I guessed that we had walked just a few blocks. According to my Charity Miles app, we had actually done 2 miles! All without breaking a sweat. I wholeheartedly recommend a city walking tour as a way to exercise. You’ll enjoy the process and be happy with the benefits. Kind of like having kids! Hahahahahh. And if you are near Los Angeles, try one of the Conservancy tours. Our volunteer guide, David Fitzgerald, was enthusiastic, knowledgeable, friendly and emanated love for Los Angeles and her history.

Join us and Omax3 for a Twitter chat about Omega-3s this Thursday, Nov. 21 at 6pm PST/ 9pm EST. Hashtag #Omax3Omega. You bring the questions; Omax3 will bring the prizes – Boxes of Omega-3 capsules and GNC cards. 

Want to work with a prize team? 

A) Hire us to speak at your next meeting or conference. Call (805) 403-4338 or email info@funandfit.org.

B) Subscribe to our YouTube channel and blog.

C) Follow us on google +Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter:  AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.

About Fun and Fit

Get practical exercise advice, your fitness questions answered, and cutting edge health edu-tainment that is accessible and doable from long time fitness experts, Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA. We have taught on land, sea, and airwaves for 3 decades on 4 continents. From writing to speaking, emceeing to hosting a radio show, reviewing products to teaching classes, we believe that little steps turn into big paths. Move a little more than the day before. FitFluential Ambassadors and award-winners both online and off.

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15 Responses to Take a City Walking Tour: Exercise & History Together!

  1. Debbie @ Live from La Quinta November 17, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

    I think it would be very interesting to do a city tour of LA. Running or walking through a new city is my favorite way to sightsee. Having a tour guide makes it even better.
    Debbie @ Live from La Quinta recently posted..Monday Runday. It’s About Change: New Plans, New Venues + CIF Semi FinalsMy Profile

  2. MIZ November 18, 2013 at 4:04 am #

    LOVE TO DO THIS.
    from austin to oakland to oxford.
    MIZ recently posted..I sleep like a toddler.My Profile

  3. Coco (@Got2Run4Me) November 18, 2013 at 4:15 am #

    Our last European vacation included lots of walking tours, which was spectacular. Locally, I’ve only gone on chocolate tours, visiting different shops with a chocolate theme!
    Coco (@Got2Run4Me) recently posted..New USTAF 12K World RecordMy Profile

    • AlexandraFunFit November 18, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

      Chocolate tours sound fun. When I lived in London, I did a few pub tours, which I liked for the history. I’m not much for beer, but I did like shandy.
      AlexandraFunFit recently posted..Exercising with FibromyalgiaMy Profile

  4. Tara Burner November 18, 2013 at 9:33 am #

    luv it!
    Tara Burner recently posted..3 Things You Should Appreciate & Value In LifeMy Profile

  5. Jody - Fit at 56 November 18, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

    Loved seeing the pics on IG too! What a cool tour & the architecture & the sites – very cool!!!!
    Jody – Fit at 56 recently posted..Gratitude & Birthday Thanks!!!!My Profile

    • AlexandraFunFit November 18, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

      It was really cool. I wished it had been longer. The woman who organized it gave all of us a swag bag, which had lots of coupons for downtown stuff, so I’m definitely going back. I want to do the Arts/ Theatre tour next.
      AlexandraFunFit recently posted..Why Do You Exercise? Is Looking Good Enough? My Profile

  6. Cathy Chester November 18, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

    I wish I lived near you. I need to find how to incorporate walking into my life. Having MS I tire easily and can only do flat surfaces. I have a frozen shoulder and have been unable to do yoga since before the summer. I am getting no exercise. I would have loved to find a walk like you have, and I love history as well.

    You guys rock!

    Cathy
    Cathy Chester recently posted..What’s So Magical About Twenty-Five Years Of Marriage? Tevye And Golde Taught Me A LotMy Profile

  7. AlexandraFunFit November 18, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

    I had a frozen shoulder once, and it sure took a while to heal. Maybe you could find a tai chi or stretch class that is standing. And if you can get to a beach (not sure where you live), those are usually flat. Of course, you are always invited to Santa Barbara for a walk with us!!
    AlexandraFunFit recently posted..Walking for a CauseMy Profile

  8. Ellen H. November 18, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

    Inspiring, you two! I’ll try and find an opportunity to try a downtown LA walking tour, or in any city, really.
    Hugs, Ellen
    Ellen H. recently posted..Walking for a CauseMy Profile

  9. Christine @ Love, Life, Surf November 18, 2013 at 6:05 pm #

    Living in NYC, we walk almost everywhere. It’s one of my favorite ways to get around the city is by walking through it because I get to see how neighborhoods have changed over the years, new stores and restaurants (things are always changing in NYC) and people watch.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Teaching Final Done!My Profile

  10. Aqiyl Aniys November 20, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

    You bring up a good point Alexandra at that is we need to be active. Many of us work so hard and have too much convenience and we don’t move enough. People would be much healthy if they walked more , everyday. Go to the museum, go to the park, just go.
    Aqiyl Aniys recently posted..Pull Ups – A Gradual Build With Assisted Pull UpsMy Profile

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