"I'm in it to win it"

A terrific event took place last week that was focused on fun, good health, and safety. And it was for a group that we all should hope to be members of one day, i.e. Seniors.

Life expectancy continues to increase for those in the U.S. and in most places around the world. We are an aging planet. And because of that, we must be cognizant of the potential dangers that may impede our desire to live full lives, whether we are 19, 39, 59, 79, or 99. Living long is one thing, living well is another.

The record-setting Wii bowling tournament in Houston was the kind of event that allowed the competitive juices to flow – “I’m in it to win it” – and which brought attention to Seniors and their friends and families about how they may live fuller and healthier lives. Great job to all those involved.

Many of the programs highlighted so far at Sports Doing Good have dealt with programs focused on youth and we can all understand the value and importance of that. But we must also recognize the value and importance of making sure those who have done so much in the past can continue to do even more in the future.

The full article from CNN can be found at http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/10/19/senior.exercise.wii/index.html, with an excerpt provided below.

(Excerpt)

Seniors Wii bowl for world record and for health

By Matt Sloane, CNN Medical Producer

(CNN) — A world record was set recently in Houston, Texas. It wasn’t the world’s fastest quarter-mile run, the world’s largest pumpkin or even the world’s heaviest man. It was, however, as stunning to witness: the world’s largest senior citizen Wii bowling tournament, as confirmed by Guinness World Records.

The event, put on by TexanPlus — the Houston area’s largest Medicare HMO — drew more than 1,500 supporters and 600 senior bowlers to break a record but also to have fun and dish out a little bit of Texas-style competition and a side helping of health information.

“I’m in it to win it,” one man said as he rolled his walker up to the foul line.

One booty-shakin’ grandma even showed off her victory dance after she Wii-bowled a strike.

Aside from a seniors-gone-wild moment, this event served a very important purpose: to encourage seniors to get stronger and fitter, possibly saving them from life-altering injuries.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the leading cause of injury-related death in seniors.

A fall — or, worse, a broken bone that limits a senior’s mobility — can be the start of a downward spiral that ends up taking a life, says Dr. Sheldon Zinberg, founder of a senior fitness center called Nifty After Fifty.

“Those, for example, who have hip fractures are likely not to be alive two years from now,” Zinberg said. “Fifty percent of them never get out of a nursing home.”

Falls are among many concerns for seniors. To help address other life-threatening conditions, such as influenza, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and senior abuse, the event also included a health fair, an immunization clinic and demonstrations on “cane-fu fighting,” a method of self-defense that makes use of seniors’ canes to ward off attackers. Watch more on the record-breaking bowling tournament ยป

(The article continues at http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/10/19/senior.exercise.wii/index.html).