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Skiing and Snowboarding : Fitness

The Cycle Life: Tour of Flanders, Firsthand

IMG_0420
Climbing the Eikenberg, Tour of Flanders.

If you have ever fantasized about biking in Belgium, know this: Riding on cobbles is a painful, brutalizing business, like saddling up a jackhammer. I discovered this last weekend at the Flanders Cyclosportive, a recreational ride for amateur cyclists that takes in the best of the Tour of Flanders a day before the pros race the 159-mile course. The romanticism of touring the twisting, scenic lanes that feature in some of spring’s most legendary races is inescapable, so when the opportunity arose to ride De Ronde van Vlaanderen (courtesy of Giro, which was launching the new Aeon helmet at the race), I didn’t hesitate. I was oblivious to the flagellation for which I was signing up.

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Does Living at High Altitude Help You Live Longer?

 

Results of a four-year study by researchers at the University of Colorado suggest that living at altitudes around 5,000 feet (Denver is 5,280 feet above see level) or higher might increase lifespan. The study, recently published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, collated data from around the U.S. and found that, of the top 20 longest-living counties in the country, 11 for men and five for women were located in Colorado and Utah. Men lived on average 1.2 to 3.6 years longer and women 0.5 to 2.5 years more. When results were adjusted for other factors, including smoking and increased solar radiation, there was no significant difference between lowlanders and mountain folk. And among those with existing pulmonary disease, mortality increased. Still, the results suggest that hypoxic (lower oxygen) environments may bestow some health benefits for otherwise healthy people, and researchers want to find out more.

"Lower oxygen levels turn on certain genes and we think those genes may change the way heart muscles function. They may also produce new blood vessels that create new highways for blood flow into the heart," says the study's author Dr. Benjamin Honigman of the University of Colorado School of Medicine and director of the Altitude Medicine Clinic. "Does living at altitude change the way a disease progresses? Does it have health effects that we should be investigating? Ultimately, we hope this research will help people lead healthier lives."

—Nick Heil

Read More

Does Living at High Altitude Help You Live Longer?

 

Results of a four-year study by researchers at the University of Colorado suggest that living at altitudes around 5,000 feet (Denver is 5,280 feet above see level) or higher might increase lifespan. The study, recently published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, collated data from around the U.S. and found that, of the top 20 longest-living counties in the country, 11 for men and five for women were located in Colorado and Utah. Men lived on average 1.2 to 3.6 years longer and women 0.5 to 2.5 years more. When results were adjusted for other factors, including smoking and increased solar radiation, there was no significant difference between lowlanders and mountain folk. And among those with existing pulmonary disease, mortality increased. Still, the results suggest that hypoxic (lower oxygen) environments may bestow some health benefits for otherwise healthy people, and researchers want to find out more.

"Lower oxygen levels turn on certain genes and we think those genes may change the way heart muscles function. They may also produce new blood vessels that create new highways for blood flow into the heart," says the study's author Dr. Benjamin Honigman of the University of Colorado School of Medicine and director of the Altitude Medicine Clinic. "Does living at altitude change the way a disease progresses? Does it have health effects that we should be investigating? Ultimately, we hope this research will help people lead healthier lives."

—Nick Heil

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The Cycle Life: 10 Best MTB Clips, Part 1

I've been having a hard time motivating to ride lately. Maybe it's because I've been logging too many hours on the trainer. Or perhaps it's that the spring winds are starting to strafe Santa Fe again, blasting away at my resolve as well. I use lots of ploys to beat these down times: new playlists, training games (e.g. pursuit with a buddy), or (for the trainer) obnoxiously rollicking flicks like Kick Ass.

But nothing gets me fired up for a ride faster than a clip of some badass bike handling set to an even badder-ass soundtrack. Here are five great videos to fuel the fire. Check back next week for my favorites.

10. A downhill race through the streets of  Valparaíso, Chile, shot from a helmet cam (Red Bull branded, of course). No music or this would be higher up the list.

 

Read More

The Cycle Life: 10 Best MTB Clips, Part 1

I've been having a hard time motivating to ride lately. Maybe it's because I've been logging too many hours on the trainer. Or perhaps it's that the spring winds are starting to strafe Santa Fe again, blasting away at my resolve as well. I use lots of ploys to beat these down times: new playlists, training games (e.g. pursuit with a buddy), or (for the trainer) obnoxiously rollicking flicks like Kick Ass.

But nothing gets me fired up for a ride faster than a clip of some badass bike handling set to an even badder-ass soundtrack. Here are five great videos to fuel the fire. Check back next week for my favorites.

10. A downhill race through the streets of  Valparaíso, Chile, shot from a helmet cam (Red Bull branded, of course). No music or this would be higher up the list.

 

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