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It Has Nothing To Do With Age provides self-help principles. The inspirational stories give concrete illustrations of overcoming many of life's challenges. Difficulties pertaining to depression, grief, divorce, and death are presented and worked through by the participants. Physical impairments, injuries, overcoming issues with weight, alcohol, and nicotine are also dealt with and resolved by the athletes.

This book provides a model on how to overcome some of the difficulties that confront all of us . Further, this read sheds a beacon of light on preventive measures for good physical and mental health. Research demonstrates that exercise is an important component in treating such ailments and debilitating illness such as depression, stroke, heart disease, brain or cognitive malfunction,and Alzheimer's disease.

I suggest that proper exercise can be used as a preventive measure for psychological, cognitive, and physical health as well. Follow my prescription and lead a better, more fulfilling, and healthier life.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Team Sports in Decline

Are you surprised that participation among boys and girls aged 6 through 17, declined by approximately 4% in US team sports, such as basketball, soccer, baseball and football from 2008 to 2012? It is also true that the population of these kids in the US declined 0.6%. For more statistics: baseball bat sales fell 18%; football sales dropped 5%; and team uniform sales from basketball and soccer did not increase. However, total sporting-goods dollar sales rose by 2.1%.

Additional statistics: participation in high school football dropped 2.3%(comparing 2008-2009 to 2012-2013 seasons); high school baseball participation rose by 0.3% -but percentage participation in baseball and softball-little league fell by 6.8%; basketball participation fell 6.3% in the 6 to 14 age group;  and youth soccer participation was flat between the years 2008 2012.

A number of reasons given for the fall in physical activity (anywhere from 2 to 4%) for children are as follows: 1. Increasing costs 2. Excessive pressure on kids 3. Decline in school physical education programs 4. Other options, i.e. volunteering in the community, social networking, video games, etc. 5. Sport is not fun for children 6. Overworking kids and searching for the elite athlete 7. Physical injury.

On the positive side, increase participation in lacrosse, and in ice hockey have grown, but these two sports have limited numbers of participants.

I have two issues (if this is a trend) regarding the above. Team sports can provide for team bonding or cohesiveness-a sense of belonging, functioning as a unit, etc. what this means is that it’s a good model for learning about interpersonal relationships along with taking direction from others. One has to put one’s ego in their pocket so to speak and become part of the group. Often less of “me” and more of “we” has major benefits for our society like providing for emotional stability and working together for that common goal.

Also, I am concerned about inactivity. As our nation deals with all kinds of health issues and there is so much controversy regarding health care, the important picture is missed. The concern, interest and noise generated would be more beneficial if the focus was on getting individuals to become more physical and taking responsibility for their well being. We all know that physical activity can replace medication and should be the treatment or prescription of choice.

My prescription for better living includes: moving, laughing, smiling, bonding, loving and appreciating. What is your prescription?

Today’s source is the Wall Street Journal, January 31, 2014.


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