Browse Month: July 2016

On the rocks

Just north of Manhattan, up the Hudson River from West Point Military Academy, New Paltz sits in rebellion. It’s a refreshing ’60s throwback where everything is cool, nothing is a problem, and Birkenstocks and tie-dye are de rigueur. Indeed, the place is a great escape especially in the autumn, when psychedelic foliage casts a dizzying spell and outdoor sports options compete with classic fall diversions.

New Paltz nestles at the foot of the Shawangunk Mountains, known to devotees as the Gunks. The perfect base camp, it’s situated on the fringe of a 21,000-acre natural area that comprises a state park, private preserves and a massive resort. The two primary focal points, Mohonk Nature Preserve and Minnewaska State Park Preserve, face each other on a ridge less than 10 miles out of town. Along with biking, hiking and water sports, you’ll find some of the best rock climbing in the country here.

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Give yourself a sporting chance by focusing on proper alignment

Chances are you haven’t given your posture much thought since you grew up and escaped your mother’s eagle eye for slouchy shoulders. As that final “Stand up straight, dear” followed you out the door, you may have shrugged it off and proceeded to put your energy into running faster, swimming farther or perfecting your serve. But although good posture might seem like one more item on a plate already full of physical pursuits, it may well be the one you should put before all others: The state of your stance, it turns out, can make or break performance.

Standing Orders

Thanks to fashion models, Marine cadets and, yes, those well-meaning mothers, the typical perception of what good posture is misses the mark. Forget the rigid stomach-in, shoulders-back, book-perched-on-the-head pose. In fact, the phrase good posture has become all but obsolete among experts, who prefer terms like proper alignment and balanced body. “There’s a lot more to it than sitting or standing up straight. Your body should have a natural, relaxed verticality,” says James L. Oschman, Ph.D., a biologist and lecturer based in Dover, New Hampshire. Continue Reading

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