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Wii can get fit at any age

By JULIAN CAVAZOS
March 26, 2009 at 5:04 p.m.
Updated March 25, 2009 at 10:26 p.m.

Betty Lott, right, jumps with excitement as Ramona Reyna, center, gets a spare in Wii Bowling at the Victoria County Senior Citizens Center.

Betty Lott, a senior citizen of Victoria, had never bowled before, until she used a Wii.

Lott, 69, and a handful of others gathered this week at the Senior Citizens Center in Victoria and participated in Wii bowling.

"It's a lot of fun. I've never done it before, and have never done bowling anytime," Lott said. "But since I've come here, it's been interesting, and I like it."

The low-impact exercise involved in Wii bowling keeps senior citizens' bodies active in an easy way, said Deborah Garner, executive director of the Senior Citizens Center in Victoria.

"It keeps them active. It's good for their heart without the strenuous impact of a real ball," Garner said.

Wii bowling also provides them with challenges of the mind, said Tina Garner, assistant program coordinator for the Crossroads area's Agency on Aging.

"It keeps them mentally alert," Tina Garner said. "It's a competitive thing. They have to keep scores. You don't always get strikes, so you have to figure out how to get a spare."

Tina Garner encouraged senior citizens to do body stretches, such as shoulder rolls, heel flexes, and marching in place, to strengthen their joints and prevent injury.

Wii factsAverage Cost:$249.99

Some accessories: wireless remote controllers, Wii zapper, Wii wheel, Wii Buzz shotgun.

Top selling Wii game: Wii Sports. Includes baseball, golf, bowling, tennis and boxing

Total Wiis sold in 2008:

10.17 million.

This is the most of any video game system ever in a single year.

Low impact exercises for senior citizensShoulder rolls

Arm rotations

Side-step, side-step

Heel flexes

*Do two sets of five at least three to four times a week. This will keep joints stronger, and prevent injury.

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