Monday, May 24, 2010

A Growing Number Of Baby Boomers See Sports As A Way To Feel Young Again

“‘Boomers have always appreciated being physically fit, and they're not about to let go of that active lifestyle,' says Kara Thompson, spokeswoman for the International Health, Racquet and Sports Club Association (IHRSA). `They want to stay healthy. They exercise because it makes them feel better.' Jim Loretta, 63, had always run to keep in shape. It was a form of exercise he could do around his Kendall neighborhood or on a hotel-gym treadmill when he traveled for his firm, Loretta Marketing Group. Then, about 20 years ago, he got to talking to two marathoners. ‘It sounded like something I wanted to do,' he says. When he finished his first half-marathon in November 1992, his wife asked, ‘Have you had enough?' He was just getting started. By January 1994, he had run four marathons at progressively faster clips. To train, he was running 40 to 60 miles a week. Bitten by the competitive bug, he moved on to triathlons-- swimming-cycling-running competitions -- and then to the Ironman, a grueling endurance event that combines a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run. While Loretta's training regimen is uncommon, his commitment to fitness is not. His generation, he says, ‘wants to keep in shape. They know exercise is good for them.' Industry surveys...

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