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Eat chocolate, play outside

The latest from the research world as it applies to our world … Chocolate: the new super fruit You’d expect scientific news about chocolate coming out of the Hershey Center for Heath & Nutrition to be favorable toward the brown elixir. And you wouldn’t be disappointed. Chocolate, which recently has been embraced as the ultimate recovery drink by recovering athletes, has been deemed by the Hershey center as a rich…

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‘A Guide’s Guide to Panthertown’

Fifteen years ago I took my first trip to Panthertown Valley, a 6,700-acre playground that some call the Yosemite of the East because of its abundance of waterfalls (19), towering (if not old-growth) trees and exposed granite domes. It was also to be my first try at backpacking solo. Car trouble got me to the trailhead late, about a half hour before dark. The campsite, I understood, was a little…

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This weekend: history natural, history human, stars

A quick sampling of what’s going on around the state this weekend. Coast Sometimes it takes a push from our creative side to jump-start our active side. That’s one incentive for checking out Lake Waccamaw State Park’s monthly Nature Journal Hike. Once a month, participants, with journal and pen in hand, head out with a park ranger to explore this unique park 12 miles east of Whiteville in the coastal…

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When the going gets tough, keep going

The following is a expanded version, with links, of a story I wrote that originally appeared in yesterday’s (Feb. 1) The News & Observer and Charlotte Observer. You’re a month into your new fitness program and you’re not seeing the results you expected: You are not alone. And yet, you are. “Every person is different,” says Sue Dissinger, Health and Wellness Director for the YMCA of Greater Charlotte. Your age,…

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A workshop full of news for Triangle cyclists

“Attending meetings so you don’t have to” That’s just one of the services provided in this space by GetGoingNC: sitting through five-hour meetings of city planners, DOT engineers, committee members and elected officials to sift out the nuggets of information useful to you, the recreating public. In this case, the bike riding public. Friday, I spent the morning with the braintrust of Triangle cycling at the fourth ever Triangle Bicycle…

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Sick of the cold, searching for spring

At some point every winter it becomes impossible to keep pretending I like cold weather and I look for the slightest encouragement possible to go in search of spring. Usually, I can hold out to mid- to late February. With this year’s unrelenting cold I only made it until Friday. When the temperature hit a balmy 50 degrees mid afternoon, I closed shop, got out the the day hikers and…

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Knowing when to shed the ‘fat coat’

When I write for newspapers I inevitably wind up with far more information than I can fit into a 600-word lead. Such was the case with a story I wrote for the Observers (Charlotte and News &), scheduled to run in both publications Tuesday. The story is about not getting discouraged if, a month into your new fitness program, you aren’t seeing the results you expected. In the course of…

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This weekend: birds, pucks, a mixed getaway

Officially, on average today is the coldest day of the year. Which means it’ll start getting warmer come the weekend, great incentive for getting out. Coast Think this weather is for the birds? Well … you’re right. It may seem cold to you, but for hundreds of thousands of birds from more northerly climes, North Carolina’s coast is to them what Florida is to humans. That makes this time of…

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Walking seniors, sleeping juniors

Senior citizens in the Triad have helped in a key discovery about how they and their peers can retain their mobility: walk and lose weight. A five-year study of 288 seniors (ages 60-79) in Davidson, Forsyth and Guilford counties found that those who walked regularly and lose weight improved their mobility by as much as 20 percent. The Wake Forest University study divided the seniors into three groups: a control…

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Drop and give a thousand for Jack

When he came onto the national scene in the 1950s, Jack LaLanne was a lone voice in a nation where bowling and horseshoes were considered ways to stay fit. When he left the world Sunday at age 96, LaLanne was a fitness icon who redefined our notion of living healthy with the simple message that eating well and staying active simply made you feel better. LaLanne became a household name…

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