Fit Bits: Slope Doctors

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Fitness

Slope Doctors

You're on vacation and the powder is great, but you realize you forgot your antibiotics. What do you do? At most resorts you'd have to forgo a day in untracked powder to make a trip to the nearest doctor. But at ski areas such as Big Mountain, Mont., there's no need to leave the slopes. In cooperation with a nearby hospital, Big Mountain has set up a full-service family-practice clinic in the lower level of its main lodge. Providing both emergency services and routine care such as immunizations, annual exams and cholesterol checks, the clinic gives a new definition to staying healthy on the slopes.

Big Mountain is one of a growing number of resorts that provide family-practice healthcare on the mountain. "In U.S. ski areas with a million or more skier days, family-practice clinics are becoming more and more common," says Chip Woodland, medical director at Vail Valley Medical Center. So now you can grab a burger and get a flu shot all on your lunch break. ¿Cassi Clark

Breathe Easy
Forget keeping the doctor away. There's now a better reason to down a granny smith a day: It may help you last longer on the slopes. Based on a study of 2,500 middle-aged men in Wales, researchers concluded that eating apples may help your lungs work better. The reason is unclear, but researchers speculate that the antioxidants in apples may act as a breathing aid. Antioxidants¿which include vitamins C and E, as well as the flavonoid quercetin found in apples¿counteract free radicals in the body. Free radicals cause oxidation, or cell damage, which can lead to health problems such as lung cancer and heart disease.

Prefer your apples in liquid form? You may get some of the same benefits because apple juice is also high in quercetin. Now if they could just find a veggie that improves your bump technique.¿Kellee Katagi