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Hey gals, have a (healthy) heart

When I go to the gym and get my vitals checked, the first two things I look at — before my weight, before my percentage of body fat, before my BMI — are my blood pressure and pulse. I figure if my resting heart rate is low (typically in the low 50s, though I long for the day when I dip into the upper 40s and achieve “athlete” status) and…

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How often is she working out?

Wondering where you fit in the How-often-is everyone-else-working-out? scheme of things? Even if you don’t think of yourself as competitive, the thought probably does cross your mind. Especially if you’ve only recently embarked on an exercise program and it seems like other newcomers you know are losing more weight, keeping up better in Pilates, suddenly shopping the petite section. Are they working out three times a week? Four? Three times…

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Budget would close most state parks two days a week

On Wednesday, North Carolina’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources announced that attendance at its 39 state parks and recreation areas last year was 14.1 million, just short of the all-time record  (The record of 14.2 million visitors was set in 2009.) The next day, Gov. Beverly Perdue announced her proposed budget for 2011-12. Among many other things, it proposed that most state parks close for two days a week…

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Walk now, run by summer

Last fall, I volunteered as a mentor for the Fit-tastic walk-to-run program sponsored by The Athlete’s Foot in Raleigh’s Cameron Village. It was the same program that had resuscitated my running career a year earlier (and the one I had written about a year before that while still at The News & Observer). Mentoring, I figured, was the least I could do for a program that had helped reunite me…

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This weekend: Plunge, hike, run

Make February go faster by getting out this weekend Coast February: on paper the shortest month, in your mind, the longest. Forced to bridge the gap between dread, post-holiday, dreary cold January and the start of spring in March, February can seem interminable. The best way to escape the February doldrums? Jump into an icy cold Atlantic Ocean. OK, maybe not icy cold — as of Tuesday the water temperature…

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Pedal while you work

We’ll avoid the obvious suggestion of workers powering office equipment when we report a study at East Carolina University that found sedentary office workers like the idea of having a portable pedaling machine under their desk. Like it, and will use it, in the case of 18 workers who had such a device placed under their desks for a four-week period. On average, the workers (88 percent of whom were…

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New signs give Raleigh greenways direction

I pulled over on the greenway and stared at the sign, puzzled. Puzzled not by the sign’s message, which was clear. Puzzled by its mere existence. For years, the Triangle’s greenways consisted of strings of half-mile and mile-long bits of elbow macaroni, scattered about. Signs — signs showing you where you were and where you could go — weren’t a priority on a path that simply went from Point A…

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A (20-mile) walk in the woods with Rod

There was a bit of concern at the end of Saturday’s hike. “I’ve only got 19.8 miles on my pedometer,” said Bob. That sparked discussion among the first half dozen or so of us to finish our six-and-a-half-hour trek. “I hope that’s not what Rod’s pedometer says,” groaned one fellow who appeared to have just enough energy left to walk the 20 yards to his car. Asked a woman on…

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First 8 miles of paved Neuse Greenway to open this summer

For years, Raleigh’s Neuse River Greenway consisted of a three-and-a-half-mile stretch of dirt trail from Old Milburnie Road just above U.S. 64 downstream to Anderson Point. Raleigh’s greenway master plan called for paved greenway running from just below the Falls Lake dam to the Johnston County line, and the topic would occasionally come up in greenway discussions, but it wasn’t a priority with the city. In 2008, though, Raleigh Mayor…

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Raleigh greenway update: From House Creek to Portland

Several of you have inquired about the status of Raleigh’s House Creek Greenway. At not quite 3 miles, the greatly anticipated House Creek Greenway is of far more significance than it’s length might suggest: When House Creek is completed, it will link the nearly 10-mile* Reedy Creek/Gorman/Rocky Branch greenway with the 11.7-mile Crabtree Creek Trail greenway. I’ll get to what exactly all that means in a sec. First, the answer…

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