Living your best life with arthritis.

A Pan Am sport a day; a photo a day

Woman with smart phone

Image courtesy of Ambro at

Sport spectacular Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games officially started this past weekend and is on until July 26, followed by the Para Pan Am Games from August 7-15. Thus far, the games already saw a total of 262 medals. Currently, Canada sits on top of the medal count with 49 medals, followed by United States at 39 medals.

As a strong advocate of incorporating physical activity into an arthritis treatment plan, Arthritis Broadcast Network wants you to celebrate the games with us. The Pan Am Games are displaying athletic excellence of at least one Pan Am sport a day. In return, we would like to challenge you to provide a photo a day of you or a friend doing some form of physical activity. Extra praise from us if you provide a photo with you doing one of the Pan Am Games sport. Please tag your photos with hashtag #ABNPhotoaDay on our social media channels:

To follow and interact with the Pan Am Games, you can visit The official hashtag for the Pan Am Games is #TO2015. To cheer on for Team Canada, you can use the hashtag #GoCanadaGo.Dragonboating teamTo kick off the challenge, here is a picture of one of our staff, Anita’s dragon boating team at False Creek in Vancouver, British Columbia. They recently raced in the Alcan Tinto Dragon Boat Festival. “It is great to see people of all ages and background participating in this sport. There are teams from high school, business corporations, and one that always inspires others – the Grandragons,” said Anita.

The Grandragons formed in 1997 as the first mixed senior dragon boating team in Canada. Their goals are to keep physically fit, mentally healthy and socially active. The average age of a Grandragon is 67 but team members range from 55 to 84 years – and yes, they beat younger people half their age!

In an interview with Vancouver Coastal Health, Wayne Howitt, one of the Grandragons, says, “I’ve met a lot of people from different backgrounds, but we have all come together with a common interest, we are all old, pensioners, retired or semi-retired, suffering from various ailments and health issues. But we persist in the pursuit of physical fitness and all the benefits that come with it. We live by the motto younger next year. When I joined at 61, I was one of the youngest paddlers and I was inspired by the older paddlers who were in better shape than me. The team has set a good example that I try to follow and still work today.”

Nancy Cho, Vancouver Coastal Health Advanced Community Physiotherapy Practice Leader, adds: “The Grandragons are a tremendous example of the positive impact of regular and social activity. Regular exercise can prevent or delay the secondary effects of diabetes and heart trouble. It can also help to reduce arthritis pain, anxiety, depression and help older people say independent.”

Dragon boating, with proper training, safety measures, and technique, is great for seniors because it includes all four types of exercises that are beneficial to seniors, as defined by the American National Institute of Aging, including:

  1. Endurance training to build staying power and improve the health of the heart and circulatory system.
  2. Strength training to build muscle tissue and reduce age-related muscle loss.
  3. Stretch to keep the body limber and flexible.
  4. Balance training to reduce the chances of a fall.

Pan Am Games Today

So far, Team Canada placed first place in three rowing events – Men’s Quadruple Sculls, Women’s Lightweight Double Sculls, and Women’s Single Sculls. Congratulations to the following Canadian athletes for winning medals in the canoeing flats category: Mark De Jonge Mark, Laurence Vincent Lapointe, Jason McCoombs, Michelle Russell and Pierre-Luc Poulin.