Thursday, August 18, 2011
If you go
Length: 2.5 miles round trip
Grade: Rolling to flat
Surface: Sidewalk, shoulder and gravel two-track
Start: River Creek Park
Parking: Parking lot for River Creek Park at U.S. Highway 40 and Walton Creek Road
Bus access: Green line stop No. 206 at Comfort Inn and Walton Creek Road
Steamboat Springs This popular mountain area commuter route is a delightful option for fitness walks. The trail weaves along Walton Creek and through residential neighborhoods from River Creek Park to Whistler Park.
From the River Creek Park driveway, begin walking south on the Yampa River Core Trail. After you pass the U.S. Forest Service building, spot the Walton Creek Trail spur on the left. Split left from the Core Trail following the Walton Creek Trail under U.S. Highway 40 and along Walton Creek. Turn right going over the bridge and walking alongside the Indian Meadows private lake. Continue on the trail until a dead end at Stone Lane cul-de-sac. Walk along the Stone Lane shoulder, through the stop sign, and turn right to pick up the sidewalk on Hiawatha Court. Follow the sidewalk until a dead end at a gravel two-track within Whistler Park. Continue on the two-track to Walton Creek, and turn left on the singletrack to loop around the fields. Return the way you came.
Regular stretching increases flexibility and helps prevent injury. When stretching it is important to:
■ Warm up muscles first
■ Move slowly into stretch and hold, don’t bounce.
■ Stop before feeling muscles strain
■ Keep breathing
Incorporate this quick stretch routine into your walks. For more instruction about proper form or a full routine, contact a physician or personal trainer.
■ Overhead reach: Move both arms over head and reach for the sky. Lean slightly to one side, come back to center, and then lean to the other side. Hold each position for 10 seconds.
■ Arm circles: Lift one arm overhead so one arm is up and one is down. Windmill your arms in a circle so one is up while one is down. Do ten circles in each direction.
■ Twist: Lift both arms to shoulder height. Slowly turn your upper body as far as you can to the right without strain. Come back to center, and then turn left. Keep your lower body still and your knees slightly bent as you slowly twist five times.
■ Toe point: Stand near a wall or pole that you can rest your hands on for balance. Lift one foot off the ground and alternate flexing and pointing your toe ten times. Switch feet and repeat.
■ Ankle circles: Stand near a wall or pole for balance, lift one foot and move in a circle five times. Reverse directions for another five circles.
■ Quadriceps: Place your right hand on a wall for balance. Reach back with your left hand and grab your left ankle. Gently move your left foot straight back and your left hip forward to stretch for 20 seconds.
■ Hamstrings: Step forward with your right foot about 18 inches. Keep your heel down and lift your right toes up. Bend your left leg slightly. Slowly and gently reach down with both hands toward your right foot for 20 seconds. Repeat on other side.
Janet Hruby writes Stepping Out in Routt on behalf of LiveWell Northwest Colorado.