Shaving and Brotherhood

I recently shaved a pair of 50-year-old legs, and it was no heroic act of foreplay. I shaved my legs, and learned a few things—most of them about the notion of belonging.

I last shaved my legs in the name of cycling (which means the last time I shaved my legs) five years ago. Before shaving they were back to their full-furry state, and on every ride and in every race I wore that hair as a badge of defiance.

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This Dude Is 52: Dean Karnazes On Aging, Heroes, and Fine Coffee

Dean Karnazes is the ultramarathoner’s ultramarathoner. Which for some translates as the weirdo’s weirdo. Runner of 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days (2006). Winner of the Badwater Ultra. Ran across America in 2011, averaging 40 to 50 miles a day. Once ran 350 miles straight.

But Karnazes is too sagacious to dismiss as some sort of ultrafreak. He may be a showman, but for Karnazes, getting attention for Karno means getting attention for a way of life—for fitness and healthful eating.

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Back Pain Treatment Takes a Wrong Turn

Is treatment for acute low back pain, the kind that haunts 80% of us at one time or another (prevelance is highest in the 45 to 65 age group), taking a turn in the wrong direction? Are practitioners getting a little too hard-drug happy? A bit too eager to run up your bill with expensive imaging? All too willing to slice into your spine?

That is indeed the case, according to investigators at Harvard Medical School who published their findings last summer, in a JAMA Internal Medicine report titled “Worsening Trends in the Management and Treatment of Back Pain.”

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New “Athlete’s Popsicle” Keeps Core Cool

Hot-weather training gets a tasty boost with a new frozen hydration bar called PowerIce, designed to cool the body’s core temperature while replenishing lost electrolytes.

The company cites research showing that runners ran 19% farther in hot, humid conditions under the influence of the frozen concoction. Each bar contains only 30 calories and harbors no dreaded high-fructose corn syrup, but just the right dollops of potassium and sodium, along with a dram of sugar to make sure you get hooked.

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Muir Trail Madness

How long does it take to hike the arduous John Muir Trail? All summer? Thirty days? Three weeks? All typical. Maybe 15 days for superfit hikers with ultralight packs and iron will. That’s covering the 215 miles from Mount Whitney (14,495 feet) to the heart of Yosemite National Park at a rate of 14-plus miles a day.

Hal Koerner (37) and Mike Wolfe (35) did it in a record three days, nine hours, and five minutes, completing their brisk thru “hike” (really, an ultramarathon trail run) on August 5, 2013, after ticking off more than 65 miles a day on High Sierra trails. The athletes were sponsored by The North Face, which used the occasion to showcase a new line of apparel called Mountain Athletics.

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7 Questions for Gary Player: Golf’s Mr. Fitness

Back when lifting weights was considered anathema to a fluid golf swing, and a normal diet was a rare steak and buttery potato followed by a Lucky Strike, Gary Player was considered an oddball. He lifted regularly, ate well … and won 163 tournaments, including nine majors, in a career that began in 1953. He added another nine majors as a Senior. Player, who keeps busy designing courses worldwide, is still fit and trim at 80. If you have any doubt about his health or physique, check out ESPN magazine’s July 2013 Body Issue, for which Player posed—in the nude.

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Lucky Charms

If you’re a masters athlete looking for a performance edge, why not consider one of those ubiquitous bracelets you see so many athletes sporting these days? You know: those bright bands of rubber embedded with holograms or chips of metal that somehow resonate with your body’s “biofield.” The testimonials are so glowing—increased strength, balance, flexibility, an absence of pain—why not?

Be our guest. But know two things: Those athletes are most likely paid good money to don their baubles. And those who aren’t paid are engaging in magical thinking.

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Tools and Inspiration for Lifelong Fitness