Adventure

The 24 hours for visiting Hanoi capital

What will you do if visiting a beautiful, ancient and serene city like Hanoi in only 24 hours? You had better choose locations where marked the important milestones on Hanoi in countless famous places there such as the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, Hoang Kiem lake, the Temple of Literature and Long Bien bridge. If you don’t miss these destinations, your 24 hours will be enough for the most enjoyable experiences.

In the morning:

Ho-Chi-Minh_museum (more…)

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Proper Way to Go Backpacking

If it is your first time to go backpacking, there are basic things you need to find out so you can survive the trip. You are basically going to live on whatever is inside your backpack and if you want something that is durable, buy one of the best carry-on backpack available. By using something that is made of high quality, you are going to notice the advantage it has over other backpacks that are not well-made. If you plan to go on a long backpacking trip, make sure you have everything you need and follow the tips that will be mentioned here.
backpack

Go backpacking

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The Water Work Out

Jump Lunge

For quads, hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors, and lats.

HOW TO: Warm up with 5 minutes of deep-water running then do the following exercises, resting 30 seconds in between. Repeat circuit twice. Start with lunges: Standing in chest-deep water, step forward with right leg, knee bent, and right arm back, left arm forward. Jump up high and switch legs and arms. Go for 30 seconds. MAKE IT HARDER: Cup hands to increase the resistance. (Splash water at onlookers.)

jump-lunge

Deck Dip

For triceps, lats, pecs, and delts.

Here’s a novel concept: Build better arms and chitchat with your lazy friends. HOW TO: Stand in shallow water and face the side of the pool with palms flat deck, fingers forward. Jump up so arms are straight and supporting the body. Once you are balanced, slowly lower yourself till arms are bent to 90 degrees; then push back up, Continue for 30 seconds. MAKE IT HARDER: Continue for 60 seconds. (more…)


A Voice On The Wilderness

One of the most rewarding things about being a guide is watching my passengers slow down to the point where they let the landscape work its magic on them. How on the first day of a river trip, my passengers will be swaddled in layers of protective clothing, ointments and potions, and then they shed them little by little, day by day, until finally their skin becomes a color indistinguishable from the river.

How at first

How at first, they are so shy with their bodies, so modest about their athleticism, until a couple of near misses on the trip’s biggest rapids require everyone to give better than their best. How, once they start to recognize the birds and the flowers and the age of the rock layers, this new knowledge delights them beyond all reason. How their conversation too becomes more naked and demanding, how more and more of everything gets laid bare.

In just five days of slow and elemental travel, the river can bring even the most disconnected person back to the land and back to herself. In our modern lives–which so often endorse the ordinary, acknowledge the explicable and reward repetition–adventure is our last connection to the wild world we came from, which always was and still is full of mystery and surprise.

Adventure is good for people

There’s no question in my mind that adventure is good for people. I’ve seen what it does for them. I know what it does for me. And yet the question that presents itself in the wake of the adventure craze is, How good are people for adventures? Are we, in our enthusiasm, obliterating the very places we need if we are to keep our spirits of adventure alive?

As the places we go for wilderness and solitude get buried under more and more waves of adventure seekers, it is only natural that we look for what remains untouched. Nepal is overrun, so we go to Bhutan. Peru is passe, so we try Bolivia. Alaska has too many RVs, so how about Antarctica? Should we ask ourselves now if any undiscovered places will be left on Earth in 50 years to serve as the landscapes of adventure? Can we remember, even in the heat of the moment, that what makes an adventure exciting is less the remoteness of the location or the degree of difficulty and more our capacity for wonder when we engage the world?

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Female Athletes

When we invited celebrities to toast female athletes, we discovered that the athletes had become celebrities.

Here is what I know about work: You do it steadily, you enjoy it and you expect that, over the long haul, it will pay off. But you rarely see the progress or a single seismic change while you’re in the thick of it. Until one day, everything comes together. For us, that happened when we invited the most inspirational athletes of the past year to accept honors at the third annual Women’s Sports & Fitness Champions Awards.

Female celebrity athletes

What a great feeling to watch female celebrity athletes be honored by athletic-minded celebrities. Mia Hamm and Julie Foudy received an award on behalf of the U.S. World Cup Soccer Team from Katie Couric and her soccer-playing daughter, Ellie; Goldie Hawn presented to wheelchair marathoner Jean Driscoll; actress-model Tyra Banks honored WNBA superstar Cynthia Cooper; Chevy Chase and his daughter introduced golfer Juli Inkster; and track legend Jackie Joyner-Kersee helped us wish luck to a cast of Olympic hopefuls on their way to Sydney.

Each athlete made an eloquent acceptance speech. Swedish hurdler Ludmila Engquist offered a list of roles to live by, which had helped her win a medal at the world championships while undergoing chemo for breast cancer: “`Never give in’–Winston Churchill. `Live a normal life’–my doctor. `Nothing is impossible’–me.” Cynthia Cooper paid homage to her late mother: “She taught me to hang tough and finish what I started.” (more…)


The Interesting Adventure

Maybe the first thing that has to change is the language with which we talk about our destinations. The days of bagging peaks and taming rivers are over. We need to be willing to celebrate the fact that Everest has allowed us to stand, for a moment, on her summit, or that the Salmon River has allowed us safe passage without drowning this time.

We need to think of the wild places we go to test ourselves as something not to be conquered but to be cared for. We need to earn our right to our adventures by honoring our bargain with the land.

GUARANTEED WHALE SIGHTINGS

Reads a sign in Provincetown, Massachusetts; GUARANTEED WHITEWATER EXCITEMENT, says a brochure on my desk. In all the rush to capitalize on the adventure craze, marketers seem to have forgotten that the words adventure and guarantee are antonyms. The fact that nothing can ever be guaranteed is the very essence of adventure.

No organization, no matter how rich and powerful, can promise that it will rain enough to fill the river, that the whales will be in the same spot they have always been before, or that bad weather can be held back long enough for us to reach the mountaintop, long enough even to bring everybody back alive.

We are all guilty of one form or another of disrespect. Even if we take nothing away from the land, we still leave footprints, both actual and cultural, on the wild and distant lands we visit. And the inhabitants of those places are forever changed because of this.

It does not escape my notice that I may be the very worst type of offender, because although I believe I treat the landscapes and the cultures I encounter with great respect, I come home and write about them, encourage others to visit them and inevitably change them forever from what they were.

Some people believe in wilderness for wilderness’s sake

That there ought to be places, both inhabited and not, that people of the modern world just can’t go. I have to admit it’s an attractive argument, but it comes from as separatist a view of the world as the one that says the sole purpose of nature is to be our playground. (more…)


Some Wonderful Places Outside

SNOW SPORTS

Mushing huskies in Maine

Zip up your parka and explore the hemlock forests, frozen shorelines and glassy ice surfaces of the Rangeley Lake region from behind a team of frisky Yukon sled dogs. Between mushing lessons, you’ll do some vigorous cross-country skiing.

Who: Appalachian Mountain Club, 603-466-2727. When: Just one weekend in winter; 2001 dates to be determined. How much: 2 days, $360 for members; $400 for nonmembers. Travel advisory: Don’t skimp on the polypropylene: You’ll need to change twice a day to stay dry and warm.

Extreme skiing in Chile

Ever dreamed of starring in a Warren Miller ski film? If you’re an advanced-intermediate or better skier, here’s your chance. After a week with the XTEAM in Valle Nevado, led by extreme skiers such as Dan and John Egan, Rob and Eric DesLauriers, and Dean Decas, you’ll carve expert turns and plow through powder like a pro. Taking advantage of the challenging South American terrain, you’ll also learn to ski steeps, couloirs and trees.

Who: XTEAM Advance Ski Clinics, 800-XTEAM-70. When: August. How much: 7 days, $2,540. Travel advisory: Do not underestimate the searing equatorial sun. Pack some heavy-duty sunblock, a pair of UV-protective sunglasses and a baseball cap or visor.

Skill building in Colorado

Telemark ski through pristine aspen forests and then camp down for the night in a snow cave you built yourself during the Winter Multi-Skill Intensive, held in the Sawatch Range of the Rocky Mountains. In addition to teaching snow sports–such as ice climbing, mountaineering and telemark skiing-this backcountry primer tutors you in winter survival smarts, including cold weather physiology, avalanche safety and snow-shelter construction.

Who: Colorado Outward Bound School, 800-477-2627. When: December 29-January 20. How much: 23 days, $2,395. Travel advisory: Only hearty backcountry enthusiasts who are comfortable on telemark skis and are ready to handle nearly a month of nonstop outdoor activity need apply. (more…)


Yoga & Fitness Everyday

Thursday

Yoga

By now, your muscles must be tight as a cord. A yoga class will stretch them back out. “Yoga will help your performance in other activities,” says Mark Blanchard, who owns Yogatime in Beverly Hills and teaches Lucy Liu and Drew Barrymore. To do a modified crescent, start on hands and knees, then lift hips to form an upside-down V. Lunge forward with right foot; raise torso, extending right arm in front of you, and pull left foot to butt. Stretches quads and hip flexors.

Friday

Massage

Play hooky. “Rest makes the body stronger,” says Sean Harrington, owner and fitness director at VERT in Santa Monica. “It allows muscles to refuel with glycogen, which is used up during exercise, and to work harder during your next workout.” If you want to really spoil your muscles, get a sports massage. Here’s the rub: A good kneading relieves tension in the muscles, alleviates stress and improves circulation and flexibility. To find an affordable (around $1 a minute) licensed massage therapist near you, call the American Massage Therapy Association at 847-864-0123.

Saturday

Hiking

If you resist the urge to stop for gorp every half mile, hiking is a top-notch cardio workout and fat-burner. Go for at least 60 minutes. If you don’t live near hiking trails, get outside and do anything active, such as inline skating or biking. (You won’t miss the gym stench, we promise.) Hiking, especially on steep inclines, taxes the calves and hamstrings. Going up, stay on the balls of your feet. Feeling tough? Walk with hiking poles to work your upper body and burn 25 percent more calories.

Sunday

Condition

A hybrid workout of ballet and yoga will “make your butt head north instead of south,” says Melody Morton of L.A.’s Body & Soul Workout. For each move, do 2 sets of 8: (A) Releve with plie: Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width, toes pointing out. Squat, lift heels and squeeze glutes for one count. Works glutes, calves, quads, hamstrings. (B) Degage: With heels together, toes out, lift right knee to hip level; point toe, then straighten leg. Switch legs. Works quads, abs. (C) Side stretch: Extend left arm overhead and lean right for 5 counts. Switch sides. Stretches abs, lats. (D) Pelvic tilt: Lie with knees bent. Raise pelvis, extend left leg up and pulse hips. Switch legs. Works butt, hamstrings.


Daily VARIETY

Tuesday

Strength-Training Circuit

“A circuit is a smart technique for building strength and burning lots of calories,” says trainer Jim Barcena. Today, emphasize the arm, abdominal and back muscles. Start with a 5-minute cardio warm-up. Do one set of 10 to 15 reps for each exercise. After you complete all 6 exercises, hop on a cardio machine for 5 minutes. Repeat the circuit 3 times. (A) Cone jump: Jump laterally with both feet over a 4- to 6-inch cone.

Land with knees bent, then quickly jump back. Repeat for 30 seconds (to advance, go for up to 1 minute). Works quads, calves and glutes. (B) Cable row: Wrap a resistance band around a pole and hold the ends at stomach level. Step back until band is taut. Stand with arms extended in front of you. Pull hands back toward chest, bending elbows. Works back, biceps. (C) Skate squat: Stand with feet just beyond shoulder-width, arms extended in front of chest.

Squat, bending knees. As you rise, lift left leg up behind you as if you’re inline skating. Lower leg; repeat, lifting right leg. Works glutes, quads and hamstrings. (D) Triceps extension: Lie on bench holding cable handle. With hands at ear level, elbows bent and pointing to ceiling, straighten arms and push up; lower. Works triceps. (E) Box: Stand with knees slightly bent. Punch bag with right arm, then with left for 2 minutes. Works shoulders. (F) Crunch: Lie with knees bent and hands behind head. Raise shoulders off the floor, lower. Works abs.

Wednesday

Spinning

Switch gears and put your heart into your workout: A 40-minute Spinning class builds aerobic endurance and burns around 500 calories; plus it strengthens the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, glutes, abdominals and triceps. The workout can be as intense as a 3-hour Tom Hanks movie, so make sure you are properly positioned for your ride: Adjust the height of the seat so that your knees are slightly bent during the down pedal stroke.

The handlebars should be level with or slightly lower than the seat. (The lower they are, the harder you work your abs and legs.) Always keep your shoulders down, elbows bent and your weight back over the seat (don’t lean on the handlebars).

Begin with light to moderate resistance, says Janet Fitzgerald, who teaches the hottest (literally) Spinning class in L.A. at Body & Soul Workout (if you can get off the waiting list, you can pedal with such stars as Kyra Sedgwick and David Duchovny). “Work at your own pace, but make sure you push yourself,” Fitzgerald advises. “To improve, train a little harder each time you spin.” When you’re warmed up, move into butt-toning jumps and out-of-the-saddle sprints. Then mop up the sweat.


Daily Exercises

In L.A., everyone from A-list stars to D-girls exercise their options by burning through different workouts every day. Here’s how to get in on the cross-training act and get fit fast.

Working out in Los Angeles is like dining out in New York City: You have a million different options. Gym class schedules read like exotic menus, offering workouts for every taste, from Kundalini yoga to Muy Thai kickboxing. And talk about ambience: You can summit Mount Whitney, sweat at sea level or do both in one day.

You have a million different options

“The daily grind of three sets of 10 reps is over in L.A.,” says Jim Barcena, owner and fitness director of the Ultimate Performance Personal Cross-Training Center in West Hollywood. “Now it’s all about mixing things up to get in shape.” L.A.’s new approach to cross-training is so effective because it alternates high-impact activities with low-intensity ones, which keeps muscles fresh. (It’s also a fun perk for visiting WS&F editors, New Yorkers who prefer power yoga over power lunch any day.) Small wonder a huge percentage of the population is celluloid-friendly and cellulite-free.

According to Richard Cotton, an exercise physiologist and the spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise, cross-training can increase strength and aerobic capacity faster than just doing the same activity each day. Varying your workouts is also a surefire strategy for losing weight quickly, he adds: “You’ll work more muscles from different angles and exercise them more effectively.” Plus, you’ll avoid getting injured.

Experts believe that muscles begin to adapt to repetitive movements in two to four weeks. Then they stop getting stronger, and you burn fewer calories. To change your body, Barcena says, keep changing what you do with it. How? Follow Barcena’s cross-training plan, which keeps you buzzing through high-intensity activities (Spinning, running) and low-level ones (yoga, dance), giving your body time to refuel. Even if you don’t live in L.A., you can keep your muscles and your mind entertained.

Monday

Distance Run

Start off your week with an energizing cardio workout: a 30- to 45-minute run. Feeling supercharged? Run for the hills. According to Gabe Mirkin, M.D., who specializes in sports medicine in Silver Springs, Maryland, a 1 percent increase in incline requires 4 percent more energy. As you go up a gradual hill (like this one on Porto Marina Way in Pacific Palisades, California), shorten your stride and keep feet low to the ground. Flick your ankles as you push off. And don’t barrel downhill: Overstriding stresses the hamstrings and quads.


Moving Words

“I love your emphasis on building strength, muscle and confidence I’m canceling my subscriptions to fashion magazines.”

–Lisa Jung, Ellsworth, Maine

Yes, Sweat

When I first saw the word diet on your cover, I cringed. But then I read “Move It and Lose It” (January/February 2000), which is the only real way to lose weight. Here’s to the exercise diet!

Julie Parkins

London, Ontario

Tri-umphant

Thank you for three great articles in the January/February issue: “Athlete of the Century: Babe Didrikson,” “Move It and Lose It” and “Sweat Now, Age Later.” The first gave me historical perspective, the second gave me a vision of attainable results in the present, and the third gave me a positive view of my aging body’s possibilities in the future.

Rachel Hollowgrass

Oakland, California

Senior Power

I really enjoyed “Sweat Now, Age Later,” about women who are still active even though many people think of them as senior citizens. The article inspired me to give a Women’s Sports & Fitness subscription to my grandmother, an incredible, fit woman. Keep up the good work!

Angela Gallegos

Raleigh, North Carolina

As a 57-year-old pre-Title IX athlete, I was thrilled with your January/February issue and especially with your story “Sweat Now, Age Later.” Finally, a magazine for female athletes that proves age isn’t a factor. (more…)


How to See The Olympics

How to see the Olympics or add oomph to your serve–she’ll answer anything

What’s better: three sets in a row for each muscle group or three trips around the weight room?

J.C., Medford, MA

Well, others may prefer that you don’t hog a machine, but doing three consecutive sets is better for you. “It takes about two minutes for the muscle to recover completely,” says Wayne Westcott, fitness research director of the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Massachusetts. So doing three sets with only about 90 seconds rest in between makes muscles work harder. Even better, do three different moves for the same muscle group, like a set of triceps dips, followed by a set of triceps kickbacks and a set of triceps extensions. “Mixing it up helps build more comprehensive strength,” Westcott says, “because you’re involving more muscle fibers.”

I want to increase the power of my tennis serve. Any advice?

P.M., Lexington, KY

Try channeling Venus Williams, who holds the Guinness world record for her 127-mph power serve. Not psychic? Build Venus-like strength. “The power of your serve comes from the legs and the trunk rotation,” says Tim Howell, director of tennis at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa in Ojai, California. His favorite move: racquet crunches. Hold your racquet with both hands in front of you as you sit up and twist your torso first to one side and then the other. For the legs, walking lunges (try coveting the whole length of the court) will build the strength you need to create momentum for your serve.

What’s the cheapest way to go to the Olympics?

K.P., Chester, NJ

Unless you can stuff yourself into Jenny Thompson’s gym bag, there really is no cheap way to go to the Games in Sydney. Cartan Tours (www.cartan.com) will plan the whole thing for you (airfare, hotels, tickets) with week-long packages that start around $5,000. (more…)