The Long Run - December 2016

Association News
NSGA and ACE Introduce New Fitness Portal Full of Resources
In the September newsletter, NSGA announced the formation of a new partnership with the American Council on Exercise (ACE), a non-profit organization that certifies exercise professionals and health coaches.  We also promised exciting things to come. Link to September story. We are thrilled to release the development of a special and exclusive ACE & NSGA web portal available through  The health and wellness portal provides an array of science-based information, resources and practical tips for any fitness level. Active senior athletes and non-athletes will now have greater access to physical activity and behavior change information created by ACE certified exercise professionals and health coaches. Here is a look at what's available in the health and wellness portal:
  • Find an ACE Professional Tool - find ACE professionals in your area using a geographic search tool
  • Workout Library - access large workout database with several sports-specific workout guides that includes warm up, workout and cool down
  • Exercise Library - step by step instructions with demonstrations (with photos) to perform full body or target specific movements
  • Expert Articles & Fit Facts - science-based articles and blogs written by ACE experts on almost every topic pertaining to fitness and wellness
  • Tools and Calculators -11 in all, including BMI, blood pressure, caloric needs estimator, more
  • Fitness Programs - choose from 3 interactive training programs focused on behavior change: "28 Days to a Healthier You," "8-Week 5K Training," "16-Week Marathon Training"
  • Videos - expert content in bite-sized formats. Fitness workouts, functional fitness tips, routines for time-crunched people, cooking demonstrations, and more
This incredible resource is available to the Senior Games Movement at no cost and we encourage you to share this tool among your network of family and friends. To get started, please follow the link below and click the ACE/NSGA portal link to set up a login name and password to obtain access to the site.  Check it out today! Are you ACE Certified or interested in earning your ACE Certification? We want to hear from you! Email us at [email protected]

NSGA/ACE Fitness Portal

Game On!
2017 Registration Continues
Registration for the 2017 National Senior Games presented by Humana continues. Qualified athletes from 44 Member Games can now get signed up to compete in Birmingham for the 30th anniversary Games. Reminders:
  • When you can register- Qualified Athletes can register for the 2017 Games when the state(s) they qualified in are listed  on the registration page at  States are listed as soon as all their results are submitted to NSGA and verified. When the results have been uploaded, NSGA will send an information e-blast to those qualified athletes.  NSGA will also send out one postcard by mail to their address of NSGA record with the same notification. Early registration will end February 28th, with the final registration deadline being April 2nd.
  • Travel and Lodging Page - Make your travel plans and hotel reservations on the Travel and Lodging page. Find the best lodging nearest to where you want to be! National Travel Systems (NTS), our experienced Official Housing/Travel Partner, has worked hard to negotiate the best hotels and rates, as well as setting up air and car rental discounts. The site will be constantly updated with the latest information and best deals.
  • Competition Schedules - All sports schedules are now available to view and download on the Competition Schedule page.
2017 Venue Snapshot: Tennis
Two collegiate venues have been selected as the best to host tennis competition next June. Please refer to the 2017 Tennis-Specific Schedule at to determine where you will play. Both feature ample free parking. The venues are:
  • Birmingham Southern College (BSC) - The Ann Dielen Tennis Complex, just five minutes east of the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex, serves as home to both BSC varsity programs, as well as high school and other tennis competitions. The 12 championship courts feature a deluxe hard-court surface with each court provided with lighting for night play. Visitors will have access to full-service locker room facilities, including full shower and dressing areas, in the nearby BSC Sports Center.
  • Samford University - Samford's nationally-recognized men's and women's tennis programs both practice and compete at the Samford Tennis Center, located 15 minutes south of downtown at the University. The Pat M. Courington Tennis Pavilion was completed in 2006 with three indoor courts, locker rooms, offices and restrooms. In addition, the Darwin C. Hardison Courts feature six outdoor courts. The venue has played host to the 2010 Women's Intercollegiate Tennis Association's Southeast Regional Championships and was Birmingham's primary practice facility for participants in the 2009 Davis Cup.



Could Birmingham be the Coolest City in the South?
Lonely Planet thinks so.  When the travel media company and respected travel information source released its "Best in the U.S.A. list" for 2016, Birmingham was among their top five picks.  Lonely Planet noted the surge in the city's pubs, breweries and great restaurants.  They also mentioned the Civil Rights Institute and surrounding district as a good destination for history buffs.  And perhaps their coolest discovery was Birmingham Mountain Radio.  Their eclectic playlist makes them "perhaps the best radio station you've never heard of."  Stream them from wherever you are. Read the Lonely Planet feature about Birmingham here.

HUMANA Heroes: Athlete of the Month

Christmas Hit Maker Runs Like a Reindeer
While visiting the 2016 Florida Senior Games, we found an athlete whose name may not be familiar, but whose voice is instantly recognizable. That's because Elmo Shropshire is the man who gave the world the smash hit holiday novelty song "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer."
The 80-year-old runner hails from Lexington, Kentucky but has lived in Novato, California for many years. He has competed in Senior Games in the Golden State, and in 2012, he won his age division in the U.S. National 5K Cross Country Championship in San Diego. In 2013, he won a gold medal as part of the USA 4×400 relay team in the World Master's Games in Porto Allegre, Brazil.  
When he and wife Pam were planning a visit to Clearwater, he discovered the Florida Games would be going on while there. Time to lace up. Elmo was rewarded for his effort, winning a gold medal in the men's 1500-meter race and taking silver in the 800-meter event. He also finished second out of seven in his age group in the 5K road race. "I felt good on the track today, and met some nice people," he says, beaming a smile. "The organizers did a great job running the events."
"Dr. Elmo" is no stranger to earning gold in popular music either. A veterinarian by profession, he opened an animal hospital in San Francisco, but also pursued playing in a bluegrass band and ran competitively as a hobby. He recorded the quirky tune in 1979 and it didn't catch on immediately. "People either loved it or hated it. It really didn't go anywhere outside of my region at first, and Dr. Demento played it on his radio show," he recalls. But it kept popping up every year, so he made a video and recorded an album. MTV picked up the video in 1982 and the race to the top was on. "It's amazing how big it got. For six years, it replaced Bing Crosby's 'White Christmas' as the most popular Christmas song. Wow!"
The tune obviously impacted his life in a major way, but Elmo is no less excited to earn his running medals, saying that they represent the good health and quality of life he continues to enjoy. When informed he had qualified to compete in the 2017 National Senior Games presented by Humana in Birmingham next June, his eyes lit up. "I got my veterinary degree from Auburn University. If I can make it, I'd like to come. This is just so much fun!"
Before he had to run on, Dr. Elmo made time to share his Florida experiences and sing a bit of his song with us. Click here to enjoy the video clip. 

We're always looking for great athlete stories! Submit yours, or nominate a fellow athlete who inspires you. Click here for the submission form.

Senior Health and Wellness

Manage, Prevent, Delay Diabetes Through Physical Activity
According to the The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), diabetes affects more than 29 million Americans. Another 86 million people-more than 1 in 3 adults-have prediabetes. The good news is that regular physical activity helps improve insulin sensitivity and glycemic control, has a positive effect on blood pressure and cholesterol, and helps manage weight. NIDDK-supported research found a modest weight loss achieved through regular physical activity, and a healthy eating plan, could prevent or delay the disease long-term for people at risk for type 2 diabetes. 

NIDDK also suggests two ways for people with or at risk for diabetes to get more physical activity. Of course, people should always consult their physician to assess their own situation. But these suggestions are a starting point to share: 

  1. Set a modest initial physical activity goal. Start with ten minutes of moderate aerobic activity, such as walking two to three times a week. In addition to aerobic activity, people should do physical activities that build and strengthen major muscles, such as lifting weights or using resistance bands, at least twice a week on nonconsecutive days. Then, gradually increase how long, how frequently, and how vigorously to be active, with the goal of reaching at least 150 minutes of activity per week.
  2. People unable to be physically active for 150 minutes a week should be active per their abilities. Consider age, fitness level, and prior experience when tailoring the rate of increase in physical activity. After a doctor or fitness professional evaluates for limitations to physical activity, an appropriate physical activity plan can be developed.

For additional information and guiding principles for diabetes care, visit the NIDDK website.

Special Newsletter, Web Features Coming Soon!
In January, NSGA will debut a 30th Anniversary web page where special features will be added from month to month leading up to the 2017 National Senior Games presented by Humana. Watch for brief monthly newsletters coming to your inbox to alert you of new features and information!

Share Your Memories of The Games
We need more of your memories! Tell us your favorite story, from funny to inspirational, about your National Senior Games experience. The simple online form offers several ideas for the type of brief messages we would love to share with others during 2017. If you have a digital or scanned photo about it, we provide an email address to share.

"Memories of the Games" Online Form.

NSGA Online Merchandise Store

New Year, New (Senior Games) Gear!
There are new designs on our online store for the 2017 National Senior Games presented by Humana. Some feature the official logo, and there's a fun shirt displaying the phrase "Senior Athletes are Off Their Rockers!" that might tickle you as well.

It's easy to order wearables with 2017 Games and other motivational images and logos at our online store. Simply click on either the NSGA or 2017 logo to find the various apparel types, then click "Personalize" to position and add the artwork you want onto your selection.
Go, Dottie, Go!
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