Well Being Resources

Many fitness centers and gyms are closed in support of containing COVID-19. We are all expected to do our part to maintain the recommended social distance, but Senior Games athletes can still follow a fitness routine to prepare to qualify for next year’s National Senior Games. Make lemons into lemonade by taking advantage of the moment to evaluate your overall training program and build a solid fitness foundation!

Elder Justice: Prevent Scams, Exploitation, and Abuse

Your well-being involves more than physical activity, nutrition, mental health and environmental protection. It also involves social connections and personal safety. As Americans, we believe in justice for all. Yet, every year an estimated five million older Americans are victims of scams, exploitation, neglect and abuse.

Elder abuse is an intentional act, or failure to act, by a caregiver or another person in a relationship involving an expectation of trust that causes harm to an adult 60 years and older. Feel more empowered in protecting  yourself and others by acting on the suggestions in the tip sheet “Supports and Tools for Elder Abuse Prevention.” Moreover, the podcast below provides interviews with professional con artists and leading experts in the topic sharing tips with listeners on how best to protect themselves.

Get Enough Sleep

Long-term sleep deprivation is linked to diabetes, poor mental health, hypertension, motor vehicle crashes, stroke, increased susceptibility to infectious diseases, and more. National community risk factor data shows that about 1/3 of U.S. adults do not get enough sleep. There is even variation by regions of the country. In the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic, it is especially important that active seniors “sleep to live and play well.” This podcast provides tips for getting a good night’s sleep. If you are beyond thinking about making a change in your sleep habits and are ready to take action we have provided a two-week sleep diary to assess you sleep patterns.

Fitness and Nutrition Tips from the Healthiest Countries

Several tangible habits contribute to our well-being and susceptibility to infections like COVID -19. These include genetics, exercise, stress, mental health, and hygiene to name a few. Physical activity research shows that exercise is medicine. NSGA specific screening results from the Senior Athlete Fitness Exam (SAFE) show that research participants exercise more than the recommended amount of daily physical activity. However, we do not have enough evidence to make similar conclusions related to healthy eating among Games athletes. It is especially important that active aging seniors “eat to live” during the pandemic. This article makes the case for adopting simple eating patterns based on nutrition habits of the top five overall healthiest countries.

Resilience: Build Skills to Endure Hardship

Resilience is the ability to adapt to difficult situations. It is a helpful to have healthy coping skills to activate during a period of uncertainty. Many adults cultivate resilience as they transition through various stages of life. However, you do not need to wait to develop resilience. Learning the skills associated with resilience yields real time benefits to assist you in thriving during COVID 19, illness, and injury related training setbacks. This article by the Mayo Clinic elucidates the key characteristics that mark healthy resilience.

Debunking COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Myths

Saline wash, antibiotics, chlorine spray, hand dryers, garlic, 5G mobile networks, disinfectants and colloidal silver all have common threads running through them - they are on an FDA watch list and false claims are being been made about them!  There is no evidence that they truly work in treating or preventing COVID -19, and many will make you ill. Arm yourself with knowledge so you will not be a victim by losing money on bogus miracle cures.

Maintain a Training-Ready Mind and Brain During Uncertainty

This United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) sports psychology article suggests that the keys to maintaining a healthy state of mind during COVID-19 is based in a good sleep routine, creative exercise, nutritious foods, social connection, and breath training. This “USOPC News and Updates” resource provides specific tips and recommendations that support mind and brain wellbeing.

How to Stay Safe During Outdoor Activities

During this time, it is best to maintain physical distance when encountering others in the great outdoors. Infectious disease expert Dr. Frank Esper provides tips on avoiding COVID-19 when engaging others outdoors, addressing such topics as “no-go” activities, things to watch out for when outdoors, and the effect of heavy breathing when interacting with others.

How to Comply with the Don’t Touch Your Face Advice from Health Experts

Of the big three recommendations for COVID-19 prevention, the one that is most difficult to maintain is avoiding face touching. Many now realize they had no idea how often they actually touch their face. It is a deeply-rooted habit that is tough to change. Behavioral health specialists from the Cleveland Clinic break down the steps to reducing unneeded face touching.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness-based stress management practices have grown in popularity in recent years. Solid evidence shows that when these meditative methods are practiced frequently and consistently, brain functioning can actually change. This results in a positive impact on mental well-being, including stress management, anxiety, depression and conflict management. These benefits can carry over to the ability manage ourselves in competition. Learn to practice mindfulness with by taking action in three easy steps found in this informative challenge from the Wellsource Group.

Five Things about Staying Mentally Healthy during the COVID-19 Outbreak

The brain is an organ that can experience ‘dis-ease’ like other organs in the body. However, there is strong evidence that mental well-being is positively impacted by moderate physical activity, meditative/mindfulness practices, relaxation techniques, and various therapeutic approaches. Learn more in this video from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Embrace the Change

Here are some thoughts and advice from NSGA Health and Wellness Director Andrew Walker:
A wise mentor and colleague from my ATT employee wellness experience regularly reminded me that one constant in life is change! COVID-19 is an example of rapid and challenging change, requiring us to harness our ability to manage change. 
Interruption in our routines calls us to embrace change. We are empowered to make the needed modifications once we know what needs to change. For the common good, and for our own sake, we are asked to maintain a physical distance perimeter of six feet, limit the unconscious habit of face touching, and commit to washing hands for at least twenty seconds. In addition, social networks and exercise programs are disrupted. When taken together they represent a challenge, requiring change and creating stress. Yet, there are resources that we can call upon.
Managing change requires acceptance of what you cannot control, a review of your assets, and then acting on those things you can control. Reflect on this advice:
  • Work to accept that change is required
  • Give yourself time to change
  • Make a list of things that you can control and things you can’t control
Asset Assessment
  • Acknowledge that you survived previous changes
  • Reflect on how you survived previous changes
  • Review your strengths, resources, and support
Change What You Can Control   
  • Focus on the things you can control
  • Work to let go of things you cannot control 
  • Reframe this moment as an opportunity to refine your mindset, try new workout routines and maintain social networks
Overall wellness encompasses dimensions of mind, body, spirit, and social life, with each having an impact on the other. For instance, there is an abundance of evidence that physical activity positively affects mental wellbeing. A complete overview of proven mind-body practices like tai chi for health and yoga is found at The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). NCCIH also offers a comprehensive overview of Relaxation Techniques for Health.  
NSGA has created the Alternative Home Exercises web page with curated workout resources. Additional resources to support mental wellbeing created by the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) are found at COVID-19 Information and Resources.
We know from Senior Athlete Fitness Exam (SAFE) research that Senior Games participants are, as a whole, exceptionally healthy and fit. Your participation in The Games has demonstrated your grit and resilience. Life experience has sharpened your ability to accept what you cannot change. Your Games experience has affirmed your strength to change while opening space for greater serenity in hard times.
Keep the faith, taking care in mind, body and spirit. 

Be Well and Long Live the Challenge!

2025 National Senior Games - July 24 - August 4, 2025 431 Days 3 Hours 6 Minutes 25 Seconds