PROVIDENCE, RI (May 14, 2012) – To support community initiatives that assist seniors in achieving a healthier lifestyle, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) today announced the “Never Too Old to Play” Senior Challenge. Open to all Rhode Islanders aged 60 and older, participants will compete for the highest number of exercise minutes completed during June. At the end of the 30-day competition, one male and one female with the most logged exercise minutes at each participating location will receive a medal of honor and statewide bragging rights.
“Some seniors are reluctant to incorporate physical activity and exercise into their lives due to fear of injury or the misconception that they need special equipment, but being inactive can lead to more doctor visits, more hospitalizations and more use of medicines,” said Dr. Gus Manocchia, chief medical officer for BCBSRI. “BCBSRI’s ‘Never too Old to Play’ challenge includes a wide range of activities such as gardening, mowing the lawn, walking, running, caring for a child and many others that count towards total exercise minutes. We hope all Rhode Islanders aged 60 and older will join us in increasing their overall activity levels and logging their exercise minutes for the month of June.”
To participate, physical activity minutes need to be recorded on the official Senior Challenge tracking log, which is available at more than 40 fitness facilities across the state and five senior centers (East Providence Senior Activity Center, North Kingstown Senior and Human Services, Salvatore Mancini Resource & Activity Center, Inc., Smithfield Senior Center and the St. Martin de Porres Senior Center in Providence). While all Senior Challenge participants can register at any of the fitness facilities and/or senior centers, they must be a member of these locations to exercise at and use the facilities.
Upon registration, which begins the last week of May, participants will receive a free T-shirt and a list of suggested activities that provide cardiovascular, strength and/or flexibility training to improve physical fitness and overall health and well-being. However, you should always check with your primary care physician (PCP) before starting a new exercise program. Participants can exercise at any location of their choosing, such as a health club, home, senior center or outside with friends.
Manocchia continued, “Studies show that regular physical activity provides many health benefits and can even improve the health of individuals who are frail or have diseases that accompany aging, or who have other chronic conditions. For older adults, physical activity is a gift you can give yourself to stay healthy and maintain your independence as you age.”
After completion of the challenge, tracking sheets must be submitted at official locations or mailed by July 6, 2012 to: IFCN, 2006 Nooseneck Hill Road, Coventry, RI 02816. All participants will receive a certificate of completion and a healthy lifestyle cookbook. In addition, the top male and female Senior Challenge participants at all official site locations will receive a medal. For questions about program rules or logistics, call 401-459-1900 or visit BCBSRI.com
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is the state’s leading health insurer and covers more than 600,000 members. The company is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit BCBSRI.com and follow us on Twitter @BCBSRI.