Cycling Over Sixty

National Senior Health and Fitness Day

April 18, 2024 Tom Butler Season 2 Episode 38
National Senior Health and Fitness Day
Cycling Over Sixty
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Cycling Over Sixty
National Senior Health and Fitness Day
Apr 18, 2024 Season 2 Episode 38
Tom Butler

In this episode, host Tom Butler unveils the high-intensity training route he's been crafting. Tom breaks down the segments of this ride designed to help build up his metabolism. The training is based on the popular Norwegian 4x4 model with a few modifications.

With National Senior Health and Fitness Day on the horizon, Tom welcomes Gary Ford to the show. Gary, the director of the event, dives deep into the day's purpose, its history, and the activities that take place to celebrate the health and fitness of older adults. Tune in for an episode looking at training plans, inspirational stories, and a look forward to a day dedicated to senior well-being!

Email link to inquire about local National Senior Health and Fitness activities in your area: info@fitnessday.com

Thanks for Joining Me! Follow and comment on Cycling Over Sixty on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cyclingoversixty/

Consider becoming a member of the Cycling Over Sixty Strava Club! www.strava.com/clubs/CyclingOverSixty

Please send comments, questions and especially content suggestions to me at tom.butler@teleiomedia.com

Show music is "Come On Out" by Dan Lebowitz. Find him here : lebomusic.com

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In this episode, host Tom Butler unveils the high-intensity training route he's been crafting. Tom breaks down the segments of this ride designed to help build up his metabolism. The training is based on the popular Norwegian 4x4 model with a few modifications.

With National Senior Health and Fitness Day on the horizon, Tom welcomes Gary Ford to the show. Gary, the director of the event, dives deep into the day's purpose, its history, and the activities that take place to celebrate the health and fitness of older adults. Tune in for an episode looking at training plans, inspirational stories, and a look forward to a day dedicated to senior well-being!

Email link to inquire about local National Senior Health and Fitness activities in your area: info@fitnessday.com

Thanks for Joining Me! Follow and comment on Cycling Over Sixty on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cyclingoversixty/

Consider becoming a member of the Cycling Over Sixty Strava Club! www.strava.com/clubs/CyclingOverSixty

Please send comments, questions and especially content suggestions to me at tom.butler@teleiomedia.com

Show music is "Come On Out" by Dan Lebowitz. Find him here : lebomusic.com

Tom Butler:

This is the Cycling Over 60 podcast, season two, episode 38, national Senior Health and Fitness Day, and I'm your host, tom Butler. Thank you for tuning in to share in my journey to use cycling to get and stay fit after turning 60 and to hear from guests who I think can shed light on a wide array of topics related to that journey. The more exposed I get to information like what is in the book Nature Wants Us to Be Fat by Richard Johnson, the more convinced I am that decades of poor health choices have destroyed my metabolism. Specifically, I think I have lost a lot of mitochondria. Now I know this naturally happens as I age, but I think I sped up the process immensely as I developed insulin resistance. So now I am very interested in mitochondrial biogenesis, or simply getting more mitochondrial function. Unfortunately, I don't think it is feasible for me to measure my mitochondria, so I have to do things that I only think will work. One of those things is high-intensity workouts.

Tom Butler:

So this week I started dialing in a route for high-intensity training. I have a route in mind. There is a route nearby that has a 1.6 mile section at about 2% average elevation gain. If I gear up, I can create an intense workout on that section. I have bought into the notion that high intensity is 70 to 90% of max heart rate. I've explored max heart rate on the podcast before and I have never actually ended up with a number. However, going off of breathing and how I feel, I think that 170 beats per minute is around that 70 to 90% max range. So 170 beats per minute is going to be my target for now.

Tom Butler:

Some people might disagree with me on this, but I found it hard to believe that high-intensity training has to be exact, especially when you're a 60-year-old overweight guy who isn't a professional athlete. Therefore, I am kind of doing this my way. My way means using some aspects of the Norwegian 4x4 workout. I figure you can Google it if you want to know specifically what it is and how it was developed. But here is my high intensity workout for now. I start out by riding about five miles at a very light pace to the bottom of the 1.6 mile section I mentioned. Then I ride up, working to keep my heart rate at around 170 beats per minute At the top. I turn around and basically coast to the bottom, then turn around and do it again. I am looking to do three minutes of recovery between my 170 beat per minute trips up. The three minutes is also taken from the Norwegian 4x4 model. I plan to climb four times, then finish with a light intensity ride of about three miles to home. When I tried the route this week, I only did three climbs. The total ride time was an hour and 13 minutes with about 21 minutes of high intensity.

Tom Butler:

The Norwegian 4x4 method is designed to be 16 minutes of intensity over four periods of exertion. I will be modifying the ride so that I can shave the intense sections to be a bit shorter and get it close to the four minute mark. Again, I'm not trying to be exact. I think with a little work I will have a great intensity route. Now, if any of you are experts in the Norwegian 4x4 method, please reach out. I would love to have a discussion about it in the Cycling Over 60 Strava Club. With the addition of this intensity route, I have three types of training rides now. One is for fat burning, that is, a long ride at very low intensity. The second is endurance training, where I'm keeping up a higher pace for 30 miles, and then this high intensity route. I would like to do all these rides weekly for at least a month and see what happens.

Tom Butler:

On March 26, I posted in the Strava Club about the National Senior Health and Fitness Day. I am currently working on some kind of Strava event for that day. I wanted to know more about the day and the vision of the organizers, and I was able to get Gary Ford, the director of the event, to come on and answer some questions about it. Here's our discussion. Something that I love about hosting the podcast is we get to learn about things that otherwise I would have very little knowledge about, and today we are going to be joined by Gary Ford to help us do just that. Thanks for joining me, gary.

Gary Ford:

I appreciate it. Thanks for inviting me.

Tom Butler:

And we're here to talk about National Senior Health and Fitness Day, which I love the whole concept. But first I want to ask you do you have any memories of biking as a kid?

Gary Ford:

Yes, and many fond ones. We lived near a creek and my friends and I would get on the bikes and head down to the creek looking for grayfish or whatever else we could find in the creek Many years ago. The parents were quite as concerned about safety issues, so they let us go for hours at a time. We biked to school nearby. So yes, many fond memories.

Tom Butler:

What area of the country was that?

Gary Ford:

I grew up in the Washington DC area, a town called Silver Spring, maryland.

Tom Butler:

Okay, fantastic. Let's start out talking about National Senior Health and Fitness Day. Sure, by talking about Mature Market Research Center and. I believe that's the organization behind the event.

Gary Ford:

Right, our parent, we're based here in the Chicago suburbs and our parent company is called American Custom Publishing and we are a publisher that specializes in both senior markets and health care consumer health care publications and programs and we have two divisions. One is called the Health Information Resource Center, which is sort of a national clearinghouse for professionals who work in health consumer health programs, and then we have the Mature Market Resource Center, which is a similar national clearinghouse for professionals who work in senior markets in various settings. We have four major programs at the Mature Market Resource Center, which Senior Day is one of them. But we also have two national award competitions. One's called the National Mature Media Awards. In fact the deadline is this Friday.

Gary Ford:

This is our 33rd annual competition and we annually recognize the nation's best programs and materials developed for seniors and their families. But we have another competition called the New Product and Technology Awards, which is a competition recognizing products and services and technologies for seniors and their families. And we have a program we've had for quite some time but we're trying to resurrect it. It's called the Mature Fitness Awards. It's a recognition of fitness achievements by older adults and we've had it on and off over the years. It needs some revising, but we're hoping to bring that back either this year or early next.

Tom Butler:

To have a mature market resource center. It seems like that implies that the mature market is unique. Is that a correct assumption?

Gary Ford:

You may have heard the statistic I think 10,000 adults are turning 60 or 65 every day. The baby boomers are still aging quite quickly, so it's a very significant market. I think the fastest growing percent of the population in the US now is adults over 85. So it is important. And again, for marketers. Obviously there's issues related to senior housing, but also economics. These older adults have a lot of money they like to spend on their grandchildren or on other activities.

Tom Butler:

Right, and it seems like as I get older, kind of the way that I look at the world and the things that I see as important and all kinds of things change, and so it seems like that's something that if you're creating products and services for that demographic, you have to take into account those things as well.

Gary Ford:

Well, it is a political issue. If you look at Social Security and Medicare, they occupy a huge portion of the federal budgets, so it's also an issue that's not going to go away, with more and more older adults aging in and being eligible for those programs.

Tom Butler:

Right. National Senior Health and Fitness Day is always the last Wednesday of May, I read, and that means that the 29th of May is this year's day. This is the 31st edition. That means it started in the early 90s.

Gary Ford:

Yes, in fact, if you don't mind, I'll give you a quick history. Once we had set up our company and we had run across a program this goes back many, many years out of Indianapolis called National Employee Health and Fitness Day. It was very, very popular. The group that ran it was a trade association, for most states have a state health and fitness council or sports council and this is the trade association at the time of these state organizations and the director of that had had a very successful employee health and fitness day. I believe it was also in May.

Gary Ford:

At the time we knew him from some other activities and we said you know, we love your idea, but you're not reaching those who aren't working. So we went down, met with him for a day or two at the time and he was very helpful with us in terms of taking some of his concepts and developing a national health and wellnessition Day for older adults and it just took off immediately. We introduced it right away. We had several hundred groups immediately participate and we decided to fix it. As you said, it's always the last Wednesday in May.

Gary Ford:

So our local groups- know that last Wednesday in May is always National Senior Health and Fitness Day. It's also Older Americans Month, which is a big month celebrated by groups, and it's also, I think, national Physical Fitness and Sports Month, arthritis Month, or May and October are big months for health-related organizations.

Tom Butler:

There has been a lot of cultural shifts over the last 30-plus years, lot of cultural shifts over the last 30 plus years. And when you launched, was there a different concept of senior fitness then than what we see today.

Gary Ford:

I don't think it's any different, but it's just been evolving and just growing in importance. I know one thing you recognize as you get older that you should pay more attention to your health and uh, if you're interested in staying as long as you can in this world and it's become important among consumer product companies as well as retirement communities and how important health and wellness programs are for their communities as well. So I think it's just evolved. I'm trying to think what's different from what we started 31 years ago. I think it's just the increased attention being paid on this.

Tom Butler:

When you launched, did you have some specific goals?

Gary Ford:

Yeah, one of our primary goals and this is what the Employee Health and Fitness Day did years ago is to really recognize what local organizations are doing in their communities to promote health and wellness among older adults and the types of organizations that host events. There's four or five major categories. We have senior centers, retirement communities, a lot of park and recreation districts, houses of worship, local they're called area agencies on aging, which fund senior programs around the country. Retirement communities Medicare health plans are a big supporter of the event because that's obviously one of their goals is to keep their members healthy and by being involved in this type of program that helps promote that. And there's some other miscellaneous groups, but those are the major WISE and health clubs kind of thing.

Tom Butler:

Did this grow at all out of a personal interest in health and fitness?

Gary Ford:

A little bit, but I think it was more that we, you know, as a business, we saw a need that was not being filled and filled it and, as I said, it took off right away and we've been busy ever since. We went to a group called the American Society on Aging, or ASA, out of San Francisco. They just had their conference last month and we went to exhibit at their conference and we knew right away that this is going to be a popular event. There just wasn't anything that was giving national recognition to all the local efforts that were being done to help promote health and wellness to help promote health and wellness.

Tom Butler:

The event highlights what local organizations are doing to improve health of older adults in their communities. How would you rate the availability of senior fitness activities at the local level?

Gary Ford:

That has increased, I think, over the years significantly. If I could sit back and just explain how our process works, the National Senior Health and Fitness Day name and logo are federal trademarks, so organizations that would like to host a local event have to register with us in order to legally use the name and logo and we have a small event registration fee $35 per location but one of our national sponsors underwrites the cost of that. So many of our organizations are able to register for free. Once they register, they're given access to a website that has all the materials and programs and ideas for them to put together an event. We have official event promotion items that they can purchase from us and we have a weekly newsletter that goes out and we share in the weekly newsletter what other locations are doing around the country.

Tom Butler:

I think $35 is like extremely reasonable.

Gary Ford:

Oh, yes, and being free is even better.

Tom Butler:

So what are some examples of local things that will happen on the 29th?

Gary Ford:

It's amazing that will happen on the 29th. It's amazing, as I said, to some of our organizations. If you just since we've been around 31 years, if you simply Google National Senior Health and Fitness Day, you'll see a variety of activities that have gone on over the years with the event. I think many of our groups and again they fall in the category of the Wison Health Clubs, the senior centers, retirement communities they like to have an activity of some sort, so it could be a walking event, bicycling events, and many of them have mini health fairs where they bring in vendors from the local community to have a health fair available to do pressure testing or other kinds of testing. They'll have people come in and give lectures and presentations on nutrition and diet and so on and exercise ideas.

Gary Ford:

We're always amazed every year by the variety of different activities that our local groups organize. We've had I think this is past as a fan, but we've done several senior day flash mobs and so there's some really creative things. We've had groups who do their senior day activity with high school seniors. They have an exercise activity that involves kids and seniors. For the retirement communities, they often will have events just for their residents or they may have an event that they offer to the public, so that would-be residents can come in and see what's going on in terms of what they're doing for health and wellness activities.

Tom Butler:

I can testify that, going out and searching, you see a lot of different events and one thing you see is screenings and it seems like that's a popular thing.

Gary Ford:

Yeah, when I say many health fairs, it's often a very popular part of the screenings. I don't think I mentioned a lot of hospitals and health systems also have events because obviously it's in their interest to make seniors in their communities aware of what services they have available for staying healthy and fit.

Tom Butler:

Do you think that there are some common misconceptions about senior fitness?

Gary Ford:

I think early on, when we first started the event, there were some misconceptions that you're too old to exercise or be active and you shouldn't be doing activities not just walking activities, but biking and exercise demonstrations and so on. But there's a wide variety of creative ideas that we see every year.

Tom Butler:

I think that there has been a lot more awareness that you can be fit later on in life, that you can be fit later on in life. But I do think that seeing a senior age group flash mob dancing, I still think that people would be like, wow, that's, that's unique, that's different, you know, and it makes me want to be, want to find something like that to participate in and I and I contrast our.

Gary Ford:

I don't know if you're familiar with it, but there's a terrific group called the National Senior Games Association and they host what used to be called the Senior Olympics. I think they ran into trademark issues with that, but they host their games, I think, every two years and they do a terrific job. One of the big differentiating points between our event and the Senior games is that the senior games is, by its nature, a competitive activity and we in no way want to talk about competition. We want to talk about how fitness and exercise is good for you as an individual. So when they have their senior games every several years, they get a lot of attention because you're watching 80-year-olds running a 50-yard dash or doing these kinds of activities and it's great and that's terrific for that maybe 5% or 10% of the older adult population who's interested in competitive activities. But for the other 90%, they're really interested in finding out ways they can stay healthier and fit and we're really focused on that through the organizations who are hosting the events, because they're already doing this in their communities.

Tom Butler:

Right, fantastic. Do you think about at all, or do you hear from other people about, what the impact on society would be if we had a significant percentage of older people staying fit later in life?

Gary Ford:

Well, I know that the Medicare agency, cms, would be delighted if people are staying healthier because they are getting older, and if they are staying healthy and fit, they're going to minimize some of the health care costs that are associated with lifestyle issues. As someone has said I've forgotten the exact quote, but physical activity is sort of a magic bullet and people need to realize that and it becomes more of a realization as you do get older. But physical activity has a tremendous amount of impact on a variety of health concerns and health issues for seniors and I think people are more aware of it now. But it needs to be reinforced all the time and that's one of the reasons we have the event every year.

Tom Butler:

The fitness industry is a big industry and there's a lot of different components to it. Do you think that the value of the senior market is really understood by that space now, or is there still room for them to understand why people stay fit later in life?

Gary Ford:

I think, uh, that has been growing over the years. I don't know if you're familiar with a group called the international council for active aging or icaa. They're at, I think they're actually out in vancouver, canada, um, and they have an annual conference every year and that's a professional organization of those who were interested in older adult health and fitness. Primarily, most of it's focused on residential, senior residential communities, but companies are aware that this is something important to them and it could be a growth area for them.

Tom Butler:

I really see a lot of YouTube videos. You know other social media where they're older, fit people that are sharing knowledge out there. It seems like that's a channel that a lot of information is being distributed by.

Gary Ford:

I agree.

Tom Butler:

On October 26th last year I had Kevin McNamara, who's an experienced senior living administrator, on the podcast and you mentioned senior living facilities and I was really impressed with everything that they do, including contests and all kinds of things, to help their residents maintain a high level of fitness or as high level fitness as possible. It sounds like you're seeing that across the industry that that's kind of a standard.

Gary Ford:

Yeah, the one thing I think over the years we've seen with all the residential or retirement communities that are involved in the event every year is that you know these are groups competing for older adults to join their community and they've, over the years, have had to increase the health and wellness activities that they have. The community it could be something as simple as a. You know they have a, an exercise room and special classes and so on, but that's become very important. I don't think you can successfully market a retirement community today without having, you know, a significant health and wellness component to the program. You know Medicare Advantage plans, which is about half of all. I think right now about half of all seniors who are in Medicare are members of Medicare Advantage plans. The Medicare HMOs, the Humanas, the UnitedHealthcare and so on. They all have, early on, put together a fitness program.

Gary Ford:

And I don't know if you're familiar with Silver Sneakers or Silver and Fit or Renew Active, but years ago a very sharp woman I think she was in Phoenix as Medicare HMOs or Medicare Advantage plans were being introduced, they all wanted to have a fitness component or health and wellness component, but they did not want to build their own facilities. So she was able to and she started in Phoenix area in Arizona contact local Y's and health clubs and say, look, you're not very busy mid-morning, mid-afternoon, you're busy before work, during lunch and after work. What if I could bring in older adults during those, you know those quiet hours? I'll put some special programming together and then we'll pay you a small fee to do that. And she went around, signed up wise and health clubs in her area and then packaged that and approached the medicare health plans and it just took off right away.

Gary Ford:

Silver sneakers was a huge success and, much like mc, like McDonald's and Burger King, silversneakers gave exclusivity to the Medicare health plans they worked with. So if one Medicare plan in, say, washington had a SilverSneakers contract, their competitors couldn't have it. So then a group out of San Diegogo called american specialty health developed a program called silver and fit, which was a burger king to the mcdonald's and, and then united healthcare is the largest of all of the medicare managed plans. Uh, they had for years contracted with silver sneakers or silver and fit. They decided four or five years ago to create their own contracts, called it's called redo active. So they have their own system. But all these medicare plans are contracting with local organizations that are already there the health club, change the wise. I think someone told me almost 25 of all ymcas in the country are have contracts with some of these medicare. We don't use silver and FIT or silver sneakers.

Tom Butler:

Makes a lot of sense to me. I mean, the Y being a community-focused organization, I think seems like a natural thing for them to do. You mentioned something that made me think about. There's a specific choice to do the event on a Wednesday. Specific choice that to do the event on a Wednesday, and because that's a slow period.

Gary Ford:

Can you talk about that? Yes, that's a. That's a very good book. Glad you mentioned that. But we're looking at what day to do the event. Our retail and we've had CVS others as sponsors our retailers said Wednesdays are typically very slow days for us. So if you can have activities that bring people to our stores, to our pharmacies, we'd be very interested in that. So, and again, if you're retired, the day isn't an issue for you. You've got time on your hands. So we took the advice of our retail sponsors and others and set that for Wednesday and then, as I said, we fixed on the last Wednesday of the month, just so it's. All of our local people always know that that's going to be senior health and fitness day.

Tom Butler:

I like that and in my mind it's kind of like okay, we've got a Wednesday a year that we can take over those businesses, you know. So take advantage of it. You know, look for ways to participate.

Gary Ford:

We've had some interest that we're not quite sure yet of having a fall event and a senior. We'd have a spring senior day in late May and then a fall event in late October. We're still discussing that. We may test it this year, but it would be the last Wednesday in October. What's interesting for that is our Medicare Advantage plan sponsors and groups. The Medicare open enrollment season starts October 15th and December 7th, so that's right in the middle of their enrollment season, which is attractive to them.

Tom Butler:

Yeah, it's interesting.

Gary Ford:

You know when you see when you talk about the Medicare plans if you watch the advertising in the fall once they launch during the open enrollment season season. Almost all of them talk about health club membership is one of the benefits of joining the plan, although the medicare agency is cutting back on some of the reimbursements so they may have to modify that, but I don't think it's going to be going to happen I think, like other organizations, you were impacted by covid and I'm wondering if there's like a virtual aspect that that grew out of that we had uh, we've almost for two years.

Gary Ford:

We had to again. This is an event where people go somewhere, attended, and when COVID hit, we had to rethink everything. So we converted the event to a series of virtual activities and, with our local communities, did that. I, I think, 20 and 21. And then we gradually, as immunizations became more widely used, we have to build back to what we have now, which is back to the original concept, which is people going to events in their communities and participating together.

Tom Butler:

Are there some virtual aspects that have lived on?

Gary Ford:

Some, but I think people like the idea of getting together, you know physically, and engaging in activities, and we encourage that as much as possible.

Tom Butler:

I think that makes total sense. Do you have any stories that you share that illustrates the impact of National Senior Health and Fitness?

Gary Ford:

Day on participants.

Gary Ford:

We're expecting about 100,000 seniors and about a thousand groups, organizations hosting events at the end of next month. Since we have so many, we do ask, we get survey data back and ask people for their comments and suggestions. There's so many. Nothing comes immediately to mind, but we have situations where politicians love older adults because they vote, and quite often, our local organizations. We provide resources to do that. We'll have a proclamation, as the mayor or the governor will announce this is Senior Health and Fitness Day and they'll come into the event and give a speech and so on. So it's very popular with elected officials around the country.

Tom Butler:

Right. Is there some interest internationally?

Gary Ford:

We have some participation from Canadian groups, but we have not really gone outside the U? S for this. Yeah, I just tell you we have plenty of work here in the US to work at.

Tom Butler:

Yeah, a lot of places. There's just totally different structure culturally and from healthcare and everything, so it would be different. How would you think that maybe the Cycling Over 60 community could celebrate the day?

Gary Ford:

Well, we'd love to. If you have local groups who'd like to participate in the event. As I said, they can go to our website. It's fitnessdaycom, and they can still register for free if they'd like to host an event or hold an event, and we welcome their participation. Or we can put members or your group in touch with local events that are going on in their communities to see if they want to participate or organize something on that basis.

Tom Butler:

We have a Strava group. It's pretty small. I don't know if you're familiar with Strava, but it's something that you log into and you can upload your ride data to Strava, and so we have a Cycling Over 60 Strava Club, which again is fairly small, but on Strava you can make events, and so one thing I was thinking is just to do an event where anything that you do and we're cycling focused, cycling centcentric, and so it's like if you ride on May 29th and celebrate National Senior Health and Fitness Day that way, then it would enter you into a drawing. How do you feel about that? Do you think that that's a decent way to do?

Gary Ford:

it. I think I mentioned earlier that one of our programs we've had for a while but we're working on reconstructing it is this Mature Fitness Awards program, which is a very similar concept. When we started years ago it was on paper and they would record their various activities and, over from what the exercise physiologist tells us, it's about a 16-week, four-month period to demonstrate a significant achievement in fitness capacity or increase in fitness capacity. So, uh, that kind of thing as we put together, we can reconstruct our fitness awards be something.

Tom Butler:

We could include the cycling in that as well yeah, the focus is not competition for this day, right right and so I that you know I wouldn't do something like who rode those the most miles that day or something like that, I think just doing nice certificate that they can give out to the attendees that doesn't cost anything recognizing that they participated or been involved in an activity during National Senior Health and Fitness Day. What are some of the aspirations you have for future events?

Gary Ford:

Well, as I said, we're discussing the concept of maybe having a fall counterpart to the event, and I think it's just. Our challenge is to continue to have discussions with local groups who are involved or familiar with the event and how it can help them every year, and then we also have national and state event sponsors that help underwrite the cost of the event, so we're always continuing to contact them and make them aware of what we're doing.

Tom Butler:

Do you feel like your penetration is up there, or do you feel like there's still a lot of places out there that aren't participating?

Gary Ford:

We're a small organization and there's plenty of room for growth. For example, I believe the Silver Sneakers group that contracts with the Medicare health plans has about eight or 10,000 or more local health clubs and Ys that offer these service, loans, offer health services through the Medicare plan. So we've had discussions with them and with the Silver and Fit and others. So there's plenty of growth and we're just trying to continue to do that, continue to grow it. And, as I said, the local groups who have the events every year really like the fact that we're giving them a day that they can talk about in the community to showcase what they're doing and their fitness programming.

Tom Butler:

You also mentioned politicians being involved. How much do you think it's embraced by state local governments? Do you feel like there's a lot of growth there as well?

Gary Ford:

Yeah, for example, park districts are very active. One of our sponsors, national Recreation Park Association, is one of our event sponsors, so they very much like I much like having an event showing off many, many park districts over the you know, last 10, 20 years have built some really nice facilities for their communities and many of them have a senior center component or their activities for seniors. So they're they like to use the event to show off what they're, uh, what they're doing, what they currently offer. And, as I said, politicians love older adults because they do vote, and so they're more than happy to come to an event, talk about it and meet the seniors who are submitting.

Tom Butler:

I think there might be something really fun that we can put together up here.

Gary Ford:

Yeah, and I think again, this is just an observation from a distance, but I think a lot of older adults may be concerned, as they're older, with arthritis or knee issues, that cycling isn't for them or it could be dangerous if they fall. But keeping active and even if you have arthritis, continuing to exercise is a very important part of any therapy to help improve your activity.

Tom Butler:

Yeah, we're seeing so much benefit from e-bikes too. As far as being able to stay mobile. Well, one more time, just let people know how to get information, how to get signed up, things like that.

Gary Ford:

Yeah, the website is really for organizations, not for individuals. Excuse me about the event and it's fitnessdaycom, but individuals who are interested in finding out activities in their area, they can email us at info at fitnessdaycom and we'll get back to them with events that might be in their area that they would like to participate in.

Tom Butler:

Perfect, and I'll put links for that in the show notes as well.

Gary Ford:

Now, how about you? Do you have any goals for your personal fitness? Well, my knees are slowly, slowly getting worse, but, uh, I have a dog who, uh, walks needs to be walked twice a day, which is helpful. I haven't been biking for a while, but would like to get back to doing that. So, uh, my goal is to continue staying active so I can walk the dog twice a day and do some other activities as well.

Tom Butler:

Well, I learn more and more all the time. Of course, the podcast helps with that. As far as different bikes, different bike technology, that can help. My wife just got a recumbent bike a cruise bike recumbent bike and that helps her with some of her physical problems. So, yeah, hopefully you'll find something there. Well, gary, this has been fantastic. I learned a lot about something that I came across online and it really piqued my interest. So appreciate you coming on and sharing all the information and what you're doing.

Gary Ford:

So thank you for having me Appreciate it.

Tom Butler:

All right, take care, talk later. Thank you, I think it was great that Gary and others recognize the need to highlight local resources of health and fitness activities for seniors. I'm definitely going to try and contribute to the awareness, if possible, starting this year, so keep an eye out for information on my efforts to create some kind of Strava event. Gary brought up the National Senior Games and I would love to hear from anyone who has participated in the past or is planning to do so next time. The next games will be held in Des Moines, iowa, during July and August of 2025. I can't help but dream of being a part of it someday. Of course, I would have to discover some miracle training routine to do that, but it would be awesome.

Tom Butler:

I looked up some 2023 results just for fun. There were a bunch of results, so I'll just share some from my age group. For women aged 60 to 64, the winning time for the 20k road race was 34 minutes 56 seconds and four tenths. That was one tenth of a second over second place and two tenths over third. That sounds like a battle for the line to me. That is an average speed of 21.3 miles per hour. For men aged 60 to 64, the winning time was 31 minutes 32 seconds and three tenths. That was a two tenths of a second advantage over second place. That average speed was 23.7 miles per hour.

Tom Butler:

Something else that I thought was interesting is that the 80 to 84 year old women's race had only two riders. The winning time was 50 minutes one second and five tenths. That was a 14.9 miles per hour average. The men's race had someone who was 96 and did a 10.4 mile pace, had someone who was 96 and did a 10.4 mile pace. The 80-84 men's division had 13 riders. The winning time was 34 minutes 28 seconds and three tenths. The exact time is second place. That translates to 21.6 miles per hour. I don't think I would do a road race at that age, but maybe by the time I get there I will change my mind. And there is also time trials. I could maybe see doing a time trial. I hope you are motivated to stay as strong as you can as you continue to ride. The more I learn, the more I am motivated to keep working on my fitness and remember, age is just a gear change.

Weekly Update
The Parent Organization
Goals for the Day
Examples of Local Activities
Senior Fitness Needs Awareness
Why Wednesday?
Vision for the Future.
Wrap Up