Stepping out in Routt: Week 3: Main Street stroll

Janet Hruby/For the Steamboat Today

Base length: 1/4 mile loop

Estimated time: 10 minutes

Level: Easy

Grade: Flat

Surface: Sidewalks and paved shoulders

Start: Intersection of Fifth Street and Lincoln Avenue

Available Parking: On-street parking downtown

Description: To get you comfortable with walking, this week’s route is in familiar territory. The block layout downtown makes it easy to start anywhere on the route that’s convenient. For those who like to follow a plan, start this walk at the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and Fifth Street across the street from the old Routt County Courthouse.

Begin walking toward Sixth Street at a slow warm-up pace. For a good walking posture, think of reaching the top of your head toward the sky to keep your body tall. Move your shoulders back and down in a relaxed position. Take moderate length steps; not too short or too long. At Sixth Street, end your warm-up and begin walking at a brisk pace. A brisk pace is the point where you can still carry on a conversation without gasping for breath. From Sixth Street, pick the loop that fits your available time and fitness level:

■ Left at Sixth Street: one-block loop (1/4 mile) 4 to 8 minutes (times range from regular pace of 2 miles an hour to a brisk pace of 3.5 miles per hour)

■ Left at Eighth Street: three-block loop (½ mile) 9 to 15 minutes

■ Left at 11th Street: six-block loop (1 mile) 17 to 30 minutes

For all loops, turn left at Yampa Street and left on Fifth Street to return to the start. When back on Fifth Street, slow down for that last block to cool down.

Now that you know the time it takes to walk a block, incorporate short walks all day, working toward the recommended 30 minutes a day of exercise. Downtown offers a lively atmosphere to keep your interest as you walk. Some unique downtown routes to try sections of as you increase your walking distance are:

■ Mineral Springs Walking Tour: 1 1/2-mile round trip (not including Heart Springs)

■ Olympic Heritage Walking Tour: 1-mile round trip

■ Historic Downtown Walking Tour: 1 1/2 to 2 miles round trip

See maps of those walks with this story at Steamboat or at the Tread of Pioneers Museum.

Janet Hruby writes Stepping Out in Routt on behalf of LiveWell Northwest Colorado.

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