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Two-wheeled therapy for a stress-filled world

I once told someone I could tell how I was doing mentally by my last mountain bike ride. If I’d taken an aerobic ride on fire roads — one where I could go relatively fast without paying much attention, one where I could let my mind drift — I was doing pretty good. I was still doing pretty good if the ride was half fire roads, half more aggressive, aggression-relieving…

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This weekend, a bird walk, a ‘lights’ bike ride, a trail run

Among your active options for this weekend in North Carolina … Coast Wings Over Water may be over and the tourists may have left, but the star attractions — the birds — remain. Check out the nearly 400 species of birds who call the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge home — either year-round or seasonally — on a guided hike Sunday at 8 a.m. Specifically, the hike will explore the…

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Run from that cold!

Another reason to exercise: You’ll keep from catching cold. You’ve likely heard that from your friendly, local robo-athlete, the guy or gal who works out with machine-like efficiency pert near every day. Well, he/she now has a study out of the Human Performance Laboratory at Appalachian State’s North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis — quick breath so we can finish this sentence — to back him/her up. ASU researchers followed…

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Schmooze, you news

I need to get out more. I came to that conclusion this morning at the 10th anniversary celebration of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation. The occasion marked a chance for the Foundation to look back — at the more than 440 grants totaling $67 million that the Foundation has given health-related non-profits since its inception in 2000 — and to look ahead — with the granting…

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Piedmont color peaking this weekend

All signs were pointing to a lackluster display of fall color in the Piedmont this year: An exceptionally hot and dry summer stressing out the trees; a wet early fall, which in the leaf peeping world is akin to throwing water on a sparkling fire; a first freeze that came late, that freeze often being the light switch that turns on the fall show. Yet with even with those key…

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WOW, is this a great weekend for getting out!

Wings Over Water, feet on cliff faces, heads in the sky and gorgeous fall weather. What better reasons for getting out this weekend? Coast If you’ve ever needed incentive to get outdoors, Wings Over Water is it. The appropriately acronymed “WOW,” in its 14th year, is a six-day celebration of the wildlife and natural history (as well as human history as it relates to the natural world) of Eastern North…

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“That first 200 was pretty good,” Tim said as he followed me on his bike, “but you need to pick it up for the last 400.” Right, I gasped to myself. And you can pick up my lung when I cough it up. It was my first “coached” running workout and a whirlwind of thoughts rushed through my oxygen-deprived brain as I did the third of my four prescribed 600-meter…

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The shape of things in 2011

Planning ahead for your New Year’s Resolution to get fit? Here’s what will be in — and out — in 2011, according to a survey of 19,000 “fitness professions” by the American College of Sports Medicine. Out: Balance training, stability balls and Pilates. “Pilates suffered the worst fall, disappearing after a ninth place ranking in 2010,” according to the ACSM. “It appears from this survey that Pilates may not have…

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Breaking in a new stretch of the Falls Lake Trail

“Usually,” Alan observed, “we wait until we’ve been hiking a while before we get lost.” Indeed, getting lost before we could even find the trailhead was a record. It was also a tribute to the trail, five newly opened sections of the Falls Lake portion of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, which is expanding at breakneck pace through the Triangle. Likely by year’s end, and possibly at a Nov. 21 Friends of…

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Gimme shelter, win a reflective vest

In my previous running life — in my 20s, in the ‘80s — I found myself on two occasions in New Orleans, covering conventions. On both visits it rained, and even though I’m a wimp when it comes to running in wet weather — soggy shoes, chaffing in especially sensitive places, I wear glasses, shall I go on? — I was able to put in my usual five miles thanks…

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