How to Keep Your Heart Healthy

Being physically fit and eating a heart-healthy diet can each cut risk for heart disease in half. Does that mean you’ll be free of heart problems forever if you do both? No one has tested the premise, but you’d certainly be in better health.

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5 Ways to Cut Stress

Don't sweat the small stuff. Relax your mind and body with these strategies.

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What the Happiest Cold-Weather Countries on the Planet Know About Winter

Ease your seasonal slump with this international recipe for winter cheer.

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Wanna Get Away? Making the Case for Time in Nature

Sometimes you just need to drop everything you’re doing and make some time for yourself. No job. No kids. No stressful to-do lists. But instead of taking a trip to the city or some overly touristy destination, nature might be calling.

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Getting Back into a Fitness Routine

Whether you were previously a fitness junkie or you only worked out sporadically, it’s now more important than ever to prioritize physical activity. Here's how to identify obstacles that may be keeping you from consistent exercise.

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The 10 Most Memorable Hikes in North America

Ten trails. Ten unmatched miles each. Get maximum bang for each boot step on hikes that our most-traveled contributors call their all-time favorites.

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Five Ways Running Benefits Your Brain

Looking to reduce stress, clear your head and solve some problems? Go for a run

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Want to gain confidence in mountain biking? Enter a race.

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What? Enter a race to gain confidence in my ability? No way I’ll get crushed. "I’m too old, I’m not good enough and I’ll look foolish." That's what I thought when my buddy talked me into joining them last weekend at the “12 hours of Mesa Verde” race in Cortez, Colorado.

There were 750 riders signed up for the race. Riders could either compete solo or in teams of up to four riders per team. The race started at 7:00 am. The goal is to try to get as many laps in as possible in a 12 hour period. Each lap was 16 miles long.

As I was registering for the event, I took a look around it seemed as though I was woefully outclassed by elite athletes. I was convinced that my predictions of personal humiliation would come true. But I was committed to my team and determined to see this thing through.

An unexpected thing happened from the time of registration to the starting line, my perspective changed. It surprised me. As I looked around a little closer I began to observe something completely different from my unfounded fears of inadequacy. I experienced families, friends, and complete strangers all sharing in the joy of the sport and the day. Smiles everywhere, the good vibe was contagious. So, my fear was replaced by excitement. I couldn’t wait for my turn on the course.

When my turn came I peddled my ass off, I gasped for air, my legs burned, adrenaline flowed through my fingertips. I was only five miles into what would ultimately be 32 miles of riding for my two laps. But something happened along the way that inspired me. Instead of feeling humiliated by superior riders, I received nothing but support and encouragement from others and the crowd gathered along the trail. With every rider that passed me, I admired their skills at handling a bike and understood the commitment it takes to ride at a competitive level.

My team ended up with a respectable finish. But more importantly, a sense of accomplishment. I was able to learn from other riders. The experience has inspired me to ride more and improve my skills this summer. Will I be back next year? Definitely and with a completely different attitude. I will be looking forward to reconnecting with new friends I met this year and introducing more of my friends to the race.

Have a great spring no matter how you choose to get outside and enjoy being active.

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Quick Tips for Winter Mountain Biking

Skiing, what used to be a regular weekly activity from December through March here in Colorado has been severely reduced during the age of COVID. I understand the need for social distancing, wearing face masks, and the other precautions we must all take to curb the spread of the virus. But as a result, the complications and hassles of making reservations with very limited availability have made a normal ski season pretty much impossible.

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