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From on high, five tips for healthy living

It was a weekend-long conversation that I found both fascinating and frustrating. The four of us — Alan, Lois, Grace and I — were backpacking Easter weekend on top of Virginia, in the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. If there’s an activity that lends itself to long, extended conversations, it’s backpacking. You wake together, you have breakfast together, you hike all day together, you have dinner together, you crawl into…

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A festive weekend is on tap

On this spring weekend, take a serene paddle or work up a sweat at a festival. Coast Warmer weather means more paddling opportunities. Saturday’s three-hour guided kayak trip down the Lumber River, for instance. Bring sunscreen, drinking water, a snack “and any other necessary items,” says trip organizer Eric Siratt, a ranger with Lumber River State Park. It’s free, but space is limited for this trip that shoves off from…

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Finding more greenways in North Carolina

Last week, we published a list of municipalities in North Carolina that we knew had greenways. Turns out there was a lot we didn’t know. Since we published that list we’ve heard from an additional 14 municipalities with greenways, from Whiteville’s four greenways totaling a mile in length to Rocky Mount’s 7-mile system to Pinehurst’s 11-mile. Not only we’re we pleasantly surprised that so many municipalities in North Carolina have…

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Go shopping, live longer

Are you conning yourself when you swear you really would run more if you bought those spiffy new orange Asics Sky Speeds or that you would log 10,000 miles this year if only you had the carbon Specialized S-Works Venge road bike? Maybe not. If 1,850 older Taiwanese are any indication, you could be improving your odds of a long life. According to a study published in the Journal of…

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Grace’s Granola: the grail of trail treats

The conversation during our three days together backpacking the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area this past Easter weekend always seemed to come back to nutrition. Grace, Lois and Alan had carted in enough fresh produce to start a farmer’s market at our Rhododendron Gap campsite. Conservatively, I’d guess they had 45 pounds of food between them. I was relying heavily on prepackaged, come-to-life-with-boiling-water dehydrated food, from instant oatmeal in the…

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Canoe a swamp, hike two states and Boone-Roubaix

It’s one of those weekends in North Carolina where you wish you could triplicate yourself … . Coast When anyone asks me for a good beginner canoe trip with great scenery, I never hesitate with the answer: Merchants Millpond State Park. For starters, it’s one of the few places in the state where you can rent a canoe year-round. Then, it’s only $5 an hour (that’s for the first hour;…

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Find a greenway in North Carolina

There are hundreds of miles of greenways in North Carolina. But unless one runs through your neighborhood, chances are you don’t know where they are. Despite their popularity and growing prominence, there is no one single source for greenways in North Carolina. As I’ve mentioned, GetGoingNC.com is working on that; hopefully, in a month or so we’ll have some progress to announce on that front. Until then, I’ll share my…

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The key to loosening up arthritic joints? Move ‘em

Charlie Spencer Lackey was facing stomach surgery last fall that she was hoping to avoid. She suffers from gastroesophageal reflux disease, more commonly referred to as GERD; her doctor mentioned one option that could preempt surgery: start exercising, lose some weight. Eager as she was to avoid the surgery, another malady made exercise a challenge. “I have rheumatoid arthritis,” says the 59-year-old Raleigh resident. She found a solution less than…

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Playing games can be good for you

Today, an argument in three parts for why playing games is good for you. Games are good, Exhibit A: ‘Exergames’ beat a treadmill A study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine found that some interactive video games are a good way for kids to burn calories. The study took 39 kids, average age 11, and put them in front of interactive video games to see how much…

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Umstead 100 ultra volunteers go the distance (Part II)

Yesterday, our look at the volunteers who make possible every run, triathlon, road bike ride, mountain bike race, adventure race — whatever kind of amateur competition you can think of — left off with a bevy of helpers trying to help an ailing 42-year-old Richard McKnight of Arizona finish the last five miles of the Umstead 100 endurance race. Today, a look at more of the 300-plus volunteers who made…

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