Step Into 2021 with a NEW Virtual Challenge!
The recent NSGA Step Up Your Game virtual challenge received good participation and positive feedback from our athletes, so we’re going to do it again to help keep everyone moving!
This time, we look to the future with the StepsTo2021 National Senior Games Challenge, which will run from October 19 to November 18. It’s a fun way to log your activity in steps and compete for your state to win by achieving the highest average steps for the team. Each step brings you closer to the 2021 National Senior Games presented by Humana!
Registration is now open, and anyone can join, not just athletes. Starting October 19, record your exercise, steps, and various forms of daily physical activity. Lots of things count as physical activity — gardening, housework, and even shopping time can all be converted into steps in the program. You can also sync your Fitbit or Google Fit tracking device.
Previous Challenge participants do not need to create a new profile on the virtual platform and can log in using their previous username and password. Simply log in at the StepsTo2021 – National Senior Games link below and participate with your team.
For new participants, Click Here to create a user profile, and when asked “Which Group Do You Belong To” from the drop down menu, choose OYOH Physical Activity New Registration. When prompted, enter the Challenge password seniorgames.
Click Here for sample directions with screenshots on how to sign up, record activity and sync your fitness tracking device.
The activity is also open to individuals of all ages, so encourage your children, grandchildren, neighbors, family and friends to participate with you by sharing the website link and Challenge password.
NSGA again thanks Rudy Macklin and the Louisiana Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, which developed the virtual platform with great success. Step it up!
Say Hello To Our Newest Partner!
KOHLER Walk-In Bath proudly joins the NSGA as a partner for our 2021 National Senior Games Golf Event as well as a secret special project that we will be announcing in the near future! “The NSGA is very excited to be partnering with KOHLER Walk-In Bath for the upcoming 2021 National Senior Games,” said NSGA CEO Marc T. Riker. “We also can’t wait to showcase not only their brand to our athletes, but a secret special project we have been working on.” KOHLER is a global leader in kitchen and bath design, creating products that promote gracious living at home.
Designed to enhance and complement an active lifestyle, the KOHLER Walk-In Bath features powerful hydrotherapy to soothe soreness and keep muscles limber. Its ultra-low step-in provides an effortless entry and exit for safer bathing. Through thoughtful design and innovation, the KOHLER Walk-In Bath celebrates independence, longevity and wellness at every age.
To learn more about the KOHLER Walk-In Bath, visit kohlerwalkinbath.com.
Last Call for 2019 Games Merchandise – 2021 Gear Coming Soon!
If you have been hankering to get that one more item with our 2019 Games logo, time to hurry up. Sales of Albuquerque branded merchandise will close Friday, October 23 at 6 pm EDT.
The good news is that new branding and designs for 2021 will become available on Monday, October 26. Get ready for the sun, sand and great venues of Greater Fort Lauderdale by grabbing something new that will motivate you to train for your National Senior Games goals!
Find the NSGA Official Store link at the top of our home page at NSGA.com.
Want More News, Features and Fun? Join and LIKE us on Facebook!
This e-newsletter is an important channel to share information and features, but we can’t fit it all in here. That’s what social media is for, and if you aren’t following us on Facebook you are missing out on more cool stuff. Sometimes, we break new information on social before the newsletter comes out.
In addition to our official Games information, we also share articles of interest, some focused on health and wellness and others featuring Senior Games athletes. One of our most popular elements is A Sunday Smile, sharing good-natured cartoons for older adults every Sunday. We have also recently introduced NSGA Puzzlers on Saturdays – these are digital jigsaw puzzles featuring Senior Games images to give you a brain challenge. A sample is linked below, but you’ll have to go to Facebook each Saturday to find more!
While Facebook is our most popular stop, Instagram followers have increased greatly over the past two years, so make sure you enter seniorgames1 in the search window to find our page. NSGA also has a Twitter account that can be found with the same keyword. Finally, if you like what you see, please be sociable to LIKE and/or SHARE the posts to help us reach even more people!
NSGA Facebook Puzzler Sample link
October Athlete of the Month
Mary’s Miles and Miles of Texas
When we say runner Mary Kaplan sets goals as big as Texas, we mean it literally. Now 81, the retired Air Force nurse has not only run a race in all 50 states, she has also achieved the goal to run a 5K in every Texas county. All 254 of them. Not bad for someone who accidentally found her sport at the age of 43.
When Mary began running in 1983, it wasn’t by choice. Being in the service, she had to take a fitness exam every year. “They told me walking would no longer be considered an aerobic activity, so I would have to run a mile and a half instead of walking three miles,” she recalls. “I couldn’t run a block and thought it would kill me, but I went out and did it.” Instead of hating running, she immediately fell in love with it and began participating in organized runs throughout the country, kicking into high gear after she retired in 1996. She has competed in all but one National Senior Games since 1999.
Between 2010 and 2016, Mary meticulously crossed off county after county until she had run in every one. She even helped organize 5Ks in locations that had never hosted a race. Mary then founded the TX 254 Running Club, whose members pledge to run in every Texas county. “I had set the goal for myself, and as I told people about it they also thought it would be fun,” she explains. “It’s also a nice way to give to charity and see interesting and new places.”
To date, two others have completed the challenge, and a few are actively pursuing the goal. Others want unusual experiences, so the group likes to run in uniquely named Texas towns. “We’ve run in Bangs, Black Ankle, Weeping Mary, Very Best, Tarzan, Rainbow and Uncertain. There are just so many of them around the state,” she says.
Mary is proud that she has finished first in age group in 1,346 of the 1,554 races she has run to date, and that her 90-year-old husband Hal has photographed her in every one. She has earned more than medals, too. “President Bush hosted a charity race near his ranch in Crawford, and I’ve got three bobbleheads of George Bush from the races up there,” she says with a chuckle.
The one event where Mary ran into serious competition was National Senior Games, where she competes in Track and Field and Road Race. It took until 2019 for her to win a medal at the national level, and she did it in style, garnering two silver and two bronze medals in Albuquerque. “I always knew there were a bunch of folks of my age in The Games, so I just kept going knowing that one of these times I’d get it.”
Her running career almost ended in 2014, when she needed a shunt placed in her brain to manage hydrocephalus. “I was falling down a lot and thought it was a problem with my left leg,” she says, “But after the shunt I’ve been perfect. In fact, my times have been improving. One course I ran in 2017 was three minutes faster than when I ran it last week!”
The incident reminds her it’s not all about winning. “I just go to have fun and whatever happens, happens. Once I got started with running, I saw the benefits of keeping in shape,” she observes. “When I saw a lot of my friends let themselves go to pot after they retired, I decided I wouldn’t do that.”
We’d like to hear about you or an interesting athlete you admire-it just might be selected for a story! To submit yours, or to nominate another, Please Click Here.
Senior Health and Wellness
Your Health is Your Wealth! Steps to 2021
The saying “Your health is your wealth” takes on more significance in the shadow of COVID-19. To perform well in a sport, the training of the best athletes places foundational health first. Everyone’s baseline should be to practice everyday wellness and to receive basic preventive care for health maintenance.
Recognizing that the 2021 National Senior Games presented by Humana is nearly a year away, and Medicare open enrollment starts Oct.15, now is the time to make plans or act on investing fully in building the strongest foundation possible for your best Senior Games performance. Senior Games participants 65 and older make up the largest segment of our athlete population. The following preventive health information is important for all seniors and of particular value to Medicare participants.
New Medicare members can access a “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit during their first 12 months of Part B coverage. This preventive visit includes a review of medical and social history related to your health and education, plus counseling about Medicare preventive care, which includes certain screenings, shots, and referrals for other care, if needed. If you’ve had Part B for longer than 12 months, you can get a yearly “Wellness” visit to develop or update a personalized prevention plan based on your current health and risk factors. Gain a good overview of preventive health basics with Medicare & You: Medicare’s preventive benefits (video).
Additional Medicare items of special note:
- Annual Notice of Changes (ANOC) for Medicare participants.
- Extra Help to pay for prescription drugs.
- Use the Medicare Plan Finder to make it easier to compare coverage options.
- Access your State Health Insurance Assistance Program to find free information and online events.
- Flu shots are covered for people with Medicare from providers that accept Medicare or your Medicare plan.
With a variety of preventive tests and screenings available at no charge, the return on value is too costly to pass up. Thus, an ounce of prevention is surely worth more than a pound of cure.