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Weekend plans? A heated lake, a frigid ocean, snow

This weekend’s theme for action: Water, in its various forms. Piedmont At first blush (a blush suggestive of hypothermia?), the notion of taking a 4-hour kayak trip in 30-degree weather might seem daft. But then, this particular trip is on Belews Lake, which the sponsoring Piedmont Environmental Center notes, “being a power plant lake [Duke Energy] where water is used to cool energy-producing turbines, the heated water … is much…

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Your kid’s health: A report in three acts

Today, a look at a trio of studies on kids’ health, presented in three acts. Act I: Leave it to poor cholesterol The scene: Lunchtime at Grant Avenue Grammar School as Larry and Gilbert sit down to eat. Let’s listen. Gilbert: Lunchables? Larry: Yeah, why? Gilbert: Ya knucklehead! Don’t you realize that the lifestyle choices you make today can have a profound effect on your cholesterol levels as an adult?…

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Raven Rock: a splash of green in the dead of winter

Much as I love snow, and we’ve had more than our share so far this season, the attendant cold and gray that often accompanies it gets old after a while. I can’t do anything about the cold, rather than bundle up. But there is a place or two where I can battle the gray. One of which is the Little Creek Trail at Raven Rock State Park near Lillington. I…

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Forecast promises more stellar Nordic conditions

Just when it looked like December’s excellent cross-country skiing conditions in North Carolina’s high country was a once-in-an-every-five-years-or-so occurrence, it looks like Mother Nature might be staging an encore starting this weekend. Weather.com and Weather Underground both see snow starting in the Boone area Friday and lasting at least through Wednesday of next week. The omnipotent Ray’s Weather, the definitive source for mountain weather, is likewise suggesting snow for the…

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Hike, spike, bike this weekend in North Carolina

Resolve to be more active in 2011 by checking out one of these three events this weekend. Mountains Frankly, I can’t think of a better way to get the juices flowing the second week of January than on a hike, a mountain hike. A 9.8-mile mountain hike that gains 2,000 feet of total elevation, flirts with an elevation of one mile, takes in frozen waterfalls and promises great winter views…

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7 tips for a better ’11

The following originally appeared yesterday in The News & Observer and Charlotte Observer as part of the papers’ series on Fat. It appears today with helpful links to provide you with more information. Move more and eat better in 2011 using these seven simple strategies: 1. Mix it up. The big trend in fitness isn’t one thing, it’s everything. Avoid drudgery, avoid stressing the same muscles and work your entire…

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Studies say: start active, stay active

Note to parents of kids in organized sports and to those of you with kids in middle and high school: Your kids may not be as active as you think. A study from San Diego State University has found that kids who play softball, baseball or soccer still don’t get their daily recommended allotment of exercise. The government says kids should get at least an hour of good, hard exercise…

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Lew Hollander: An Ironman at 80

Today, we begin an occasional peek at everyday athletes who excel, and their secret for how they do it. Lew Hollander’s goal is to live to be 120. If the 80-year-old Bend, Ore., resident succeeds and does so at the rate he’s been going, he will race to the pearly gates with 61 Kona Ironmans under his belt. Hollander’s first Ironman was in 1985, at the age of 55. 2009,…

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Dip into the new year with a run, a ride, a plunge

Yesterday, I mentioned that a nice walk in the woods is a traditional way to welcome the new year. To help make it a new tradition in your life, I included a list of organized New Year’s Day hikes throughout the state. While a hike is a good way to kick off an active new year, it’s not the only way to kick off an active new year. For instance,…

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Here’s where to hike in the New Year!

For me — and thousands of others in North Carolina — it’s as much a New Year’s Day tradition as black-eye peas and college football: the New Year’s Day hike. Make it a tradition for yourself as well, whether it’s to shake out the cobwebs from ushering 2010 out the door or, on a more progressive note, to get your year off to a healthy start. A walk through the…

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