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The family that plays together stays in shape together

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, sponsored by the American Heart Association and William J. Clinton Foundation and dedicated to battling childhood obesity, has issued eight ways families can get fit together. We list those eight ways below and go one step further, suggesting specific ways you can make this happen NOW! Meaning this week now. Take a walk. Stroll together after a family meal or walk around the mall…

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90 Second Escape: Neighborhood Wilderness

Monday — never an easy time for the outdoors enthusiast. After a weekend of adventure, returning to the humdrum work-a-day world can make one melancholy. To help ease the transition, every Monday we feature a 90 Second Escape — essentially, a 90-second video of a place you’d probably rather be: a trail, a park, a greenway, a lake … anywhere as long as it’s not under a fluorescent bulb. Today’s…

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Blue Ridge Parkway: Closed to traffic, open to adventure

My favorite time to be on the Blue Ridge Parkway? When it’s closed. As of Thursday, 81.8 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina are closed because of wintery weather conditions. (With few exceptions, the entire 469.1-mile parkway isn’t plowed during the winter. When it snows or the road ices over, the road stays closed until the snow or ice melts.) When those sections are closed to automotive…

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This weekend: a Dismal hike, a really cool ride and … lost!

A glorious experience in a Dismal place, riding with the polar bears, avoiding getting lost (but what to do if you do). Just another diverse weekend of outdoor adventure in North Carolina. Coast “Remember that resolution you made to get outside and exercise more this year?,” asks Dismal Swamp State Park. (Hey, if companies are people and are entitled to a voice, certainly a great natural area is as well.)…

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A new, fit you: Getting started

The following story, which I wrote for the Charlotte Observer and The News & Observer of Raleigh, originally appeared in those papers on January 10. It appears here in expanded form, with links. When Sidney Eagles Jr. went in for his annual physical a dozen years back, his physician reminded him that he was overweight, that his blood pressure was high, and that his cholesterol was up there as well….

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Dear Diary: I am a cow

I was thinking I’d just had a bad day on the wall. Then I opened my climbing journal to record my workout and discovered that my last workout, a week earlier, had been “a bad day.” Likewise, the workout before that, during the week between Christmas and New Year’s, had been “somewhat aimless.” Aimless and anti-productive, I discovered upon further review: Had it really been nearly two months since I’d…

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90 Second Escape: Everybody Loves Umstead

Monday — never an easy time for the outdoors enthusiast. After a weekend of adventure, returning to the humdrum work-a-day world can make one melancholy. To help ease the transition, every Monday we feature a 90 Second Escape — essentially, a 90-second video of a place you’d probably rather be: a trail, a park, a greenway, a lake … anywhere as long as it’s not under a fluorescent bulb. Today’s…

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Triangle two ramps shy of a 60-mile hiking trail

The Triangle is two ramps away from having a 60-mile hiking trail. Just before Christmas, contractors using a really big crane lowered a steel bridge onto concrete footings spanning Little Lick Creek at Falls Lake. The bridge will join Sections 14 and 15 of the Falls Lake portion of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, and will make it possible  hike undisturbed from Pennys Bend on the Eno River in Durham County downlake…

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This weekend: From baby steps to bombing down a mountain

We start the year by offering something for a variety of ability levels. Been on the sidelines for a while but have vowed to move more in 2012? We’ve got a mellow, one-mile guided hike at Goose Creek State Park that’s bound to make you want to get out more and stay out longer. Already active but ready to up your game? At South Mountains State Park there’s a 7.5-mile…

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Goals: Taking stock at midpoint

While most of you are staring down Day 3 of your 2012 New Year’s resolutions, I find myself with less than five months to go on my annual birthday resolutions. Make that “first” annual birthday resolutions: When I turned 55 last May 11 I got to Googling and discovered that 55 is a somewhat pivital year for a male. Among other things, our muscles and organs begin to atrophy; we…

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