LiveWell Northwest Colorado: Get out and play in May

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The skis and snowshoes are put away for another year, our trails and parks are drying up and I am ready for spring outdoor play.

LiveWell Northwest Colorado

This weekly column about health issues publishes on Mondays in the Steamboat Today. Read more columns here.

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Barb Parnell

Most of you will be outside playing, too, as almost 90 percent of surveyed Routt County adults said they get 21 minutes or more of physical activity and 83 percent of our students get 41 minutes or more of physical activity each day.

Congratulations to Routt County residents for meeting the “1” in 5-2-1-0 (i.e., 1 hour or more of physical activity each day for youths and at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day for adults).

This May, we have the opportunity to get out and play as a state. LiveWell Colorado and sponsor Kaiser Permanente with help from Gov. John Hickenlooper, will kick off the second annual statewide Colorado Get Movin’ Challenge, which began Thursday and ends May 30.

The Colorado Get Movin’ Challenge provides free online tools to encourage Coloradans to make a concerted and collective effort to be active during May.

Participants are encouraged to engage in physical activity for 30 minutes per day for 30 days.

Colorado’s total amassed minutes will be accumulated and will demonstrate that Colorado is the most active state in the nation. New this year is a competition among cities and towns in Colorado for the title of most active Colorado city.

Participation is free and easy. Visit www.getmovinchallenge.org to sign up; be sure to include your city or town. Every day or so, go to the website and log your activity. Participate for as many days as you can.

Routt County city and towns should be at the top of the “most active list” because we have many outstanding easy-access, no-cost places to play throughout the county. Check out these options:

• Oak Creek: four new trails, a pump track park, a new playground at the middle/high schools and watch Decker Park’s “makeover” this summer, with many new features for all ages to enjoy.

• Hayden: disc golf course in Dry Creek Park, the new playground at the elementary school (with basketball hoops) and the many trails throughout the town.

• Steamboat Springs: variety of trails and many park amenities throughout the city, including the new slack line area at Howelsen. Use the newly updated online trail map on the city’s website, complete with trail descriptions and updated status on trail conditions (http://maps.steamboatsprings.net/trails). Check out the “Stepping Out in Routt” series written by Janet Hruby that describes many trails across the county (www.livewellcolorado.org/healthy-communities/communities/northwest-colorado/active-living/).

• West Routt: trail system between Silver Spur and Steamboat II and the disc golf course between the subdivisions (off Routt County Road 42).

Can’t do a full 30 minutes of physical activity at one time? Remember: 10-minute bouts of moderate activity (e.g., a brisk walk) has a positive impact on your health and enhances your brain activity. So take three, 10-minute “brain breaks” throughout the day, particularly before those occasions when you really need to be focused, creative and engaged.

Let’s see if we really are as active as we say we are. Get out and play in May and show Colorado that Routt County is the most active place in the state.

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