Do You Sit Too Much?
It’s not easy to squeeze in 10,000 steps after spending hours getting to your destination?
Here’s one way we solved our sitting dilemma in Sedona.
It might easiest be to get up in the morning and walk in the neighborhood before starting the day. Try a walk down to the nearest shopping center. Grab your cup of coffee and continue back to your hotel.
Added to a one or two-mile walk at the start of the day, you will get in your anticipated steps even if you sit a bit along the way.
The data is everywhere. The Mayo Clinic states that walking 10,000 steps a day helps you:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes
- Strengthen your bones and muscles
- Improve your mood
- Improve your balance and coordination
The Ten Thousand Steps Program was first popularized by Japanese pedometers in the 1960s according to UC Davis Integrative Medicine.
How to Measure Your Steps or Mileage
You may have a Fitbit, but if you don’t, you can buy a simple pedometer. If I remember, I stick my iPhone in my pocket. When I’m photographing and forgot to put my phone back into my pocket, there goes my step count. But I get a good idea of how far I’m going each day.
If you don’t have a device to measure your steps, measure time. Most people can walk one mile in at least twenty minutes. At that rate, one hour will earn you three miles, and you’re three-fifths to your goal. The remaining 40 minutes is easy just walking around from chore to chore.
But the point is to start moving.
Head Out of the Bell Rock Inn Parking Lot
If you’re looking for a great vacation spot where getting in your 10,000 steps is a pleasure, you can’t find a better place than Sedona, AZ. This walk measured about 7,400 steps. I ended the day with nearly 12,000 steps.
Sedona has two main highways, 179 and 89A and a million roundabouts. This trip we stayed at Bell Rock Inn Diamond Resort on Highway 179 across from one of the most beautiful rock legends in Sedona.
“In 2006, The US Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration awarded State Route 179 its highest designation within the National Scenic Byways Program: the All American Road designation. … It is a tourist attraction onto itself.” The Premier Gateway
For views, Bell Rock Inn ranks a 5 even though it’s probably the smallest of the four resorts we’ve stayed in Sedona. The neighborhood walk ranks about 5 as well.
Just outside the door of our suite the sidewalk that lines the highway spans about 4 feet wide and runs for miles. So this morning I headed up the road. I walked past Famous Pizza. At 7:30 no one but the crow wanted pizza. He did not pose as I approached him to take a portrait shot.
Along the way were two more hotels, a Holiday Express and one other as well as a strip mall. I watched early morning tourists pose next to the mural which spans the restaurant. It was about 70 degrees at 7:30 this morning, perfect for a walk.
As you head north on Highway 179 back towards Sedona, you can see Castle Rock to the left and Bell Rock near the middle. Low maintenance plants and red rocks line the sidewalks adding interest.
Even though the traffic can be heavy, especially in the spring, the sidewalk provides a beautiful safe place to walk. I took this picture of the Jack’s Canyon sign for our friend Jack, who did not know he had a Canyon named after him.
Highway 179 has scenic turnouts at the rocks so that you can park and walk. Like our son did, you can take a trail almost to the peak of Bell Rock without having to rock climb.
Along the way, you meet a few passersby. Most of them are doing what you are exercising, not chatting. Headed away from Sedona, the view is not as spectacular, but there’s more shade. I stayed on the shady side going both directions.
I passed at least four strip malls like this one during the 1.5 or 2-mile morning walk. This is the Village of Oak Creek. We ate at Cucina Rustica, a beautiful Italian restaurant behind the white arch on our last night. More sitting and eating, so I was glad for the morning walks.
In the spring there might be two miles of traffic caught up on the 6-mile strip from Highway 17 to Sedona. You may be able to see yourself in this link to the live webcam.
Another walking option is to golf and weave your way around among the beautiful shade trees. The beautifully maintained Country Club golf course is open to the public, one block from Bell Rock Inn.
The gardeners don’t appreciate the public walking on the path during golfing hours but you may walk undetected and undisturbed early in the morning and after 5:00 at night.
These wildflowers with their bulbs and tiny flowers borrowed my camera/pedometer for a few seconds. These look like Penstemon, Golden beards. Any flower experts out there to back me up?
These juicy cacti fruits, prickly pears, bloomed ubiquitously in September. You can pay $10 to harvest them. Our Pink Jeep tour guide suggested that nobody would notice if you just picked one. You needed to pick with great care, though. The fruit has to be peeled, and it will stain you bright red.
Heading back to the resort you can see Bell Rock on the left and Courthouse Butte on the right. Courthouse Butte has also been known as Cathedral Rock, which makes it confusing to visitors who hear both names used interchangeably.
These formations are all sedimentary rocks, sandstones, limestones, and shales. Guides don’t recommend them for rock climbing as they are very soft.
Some believe that Bell Rock is a spiritual place with special energy called a vortex. Everyone I’ve known to hike up there, including me, has come back from the hike at a level five – tired to level ten – exhausted and not a number one level – energetic, though.
You can see that even the small rock formations provide a lot of shade. Building this highway caused some controversy as it tore up some of the beautiful rock formations.
Walking away from the resort seemed like the path would end at any time. Each time I thought I would walk to the end and turn around, the road curved around some vegetation, and disappeared from sight. So like a woman hypnotized, I kept walking and walking. Finally, I accepted that the sidewalk might not go all the way to heaven, but it could easily go on for many miles.
I hope you enjoyed Scenic AZ Highway 179. It reminds me of the Arizona Highways magazines my grandfather loved in the 1950s and 1960s. There I was, living his dream, walking along one of the most beautiful Arizona Highways.
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