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Senior Health and Fitness

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. CRAIG. Mr. President, I rise as chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging to discuss senior health and fitness. May is Older Americans Month and I feel that it is especially appropriate to mention two events occurring this month that help highlight healthy aging.

First, for the past 10 years, the last Wednesday in May has been designated as National Senior Health and Fitness Day.
This year is no different and on Wednesday, May 28, 1,500 local organizations in every State of the Union, will again celebrate National Senior Health and Fitness Day, the Nation's largest annual health promotion event for older adults. Local organizations will host a variety of activities tailored to the needs and interests of their communities. Last year these activities included health walks, health screening, and a wide variety of other events. National Senior Health and Fitness Day is an excellent opportunity for seniors of all fitness levels to take part in locally organized health and fitness events. In my home State of Idaho, the Southwest Idaho Area Agency on Aging, the local YMCA, and a host of other organizations have teamed up to hold a walk in Boise. Idaho seniors will walk anywhere from 2 years, to 2 miles, depending on the participant's ability, a reminder that walking and being active are far more important than how far or how fast we travel.

Second, the 2003 Summer National Senior Games, the Senior Olympics, opens Monday, May 26, in Hampton Roads, VA. An estimated 10,000 senior athletes will come together to compete in a wide variety of sporting events ranging from horseshoes and shuffleboard to track and field and the triathlon. It is one of the largest mutlisport athletic competitions in the world. I especially salute the 15 Idahoans who will be competing. The Senior Olympians are examples to all of us.

The goals for Senior Day are to make exercise fun, to increase awareness of the benefits of a regular exercise program for
older adults, and to encourage all older adults to take advantage of the many health and fitness programs offered in their communities. As chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, I share these goals. It is important to highlight fitness and nutrition for seniors as a way of life. This is a concept that is very important to our ever-growing aging population.

I salute all athletes participating in the National Senior Games and all those involved in the National Senior Health and Fitness program in their communities.

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