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July 2009 Archives

Exercise, not 'guardian angels' key to avoiding falls

Pope Benedict XVI wound up a two-week vacation at a mountain resort in Northern Italy on Wednesday, July 29, 2009, by telling reporters that his "guardian angel" let him down when he fell and broke his wrist earlier in the month. He said the angel was clearly acting "on superior orders."

No details about the fall were released – except that it was accidental and that it happened inside the chalet where he was staying. It was the first significant health issue in Benedict's papacy.

Among people over the age of 65, falls are the leading cause of deaths by injuries. Older people face a higher risk of falling as they tend to have more problems with eyesight, movement and balance.

"Perhaps the Lord wanted to teach me more patience and humility, give me more time for prayer and meditation," the 82-year-old pope added as he left the chalet.

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For the love of it

So Keizo Yamada is giving up racing marathons. Japan's Iron Man is conceding that he's not up to the training anymore.

He made the decision after running three marathons this year, including his 19th trip to Boston – a race he won in 1953. He ran the marathon for Japan the year before at the Olympics in Helsinki.

Yamada's 81. A pretty fit octogenarian.

He told Sports Hochi newspaper "I'm not getting any younger so I won't run any more 42-kilometre races."

"I will carry on running for fun to stay in shape," he added.

His "running for fun" is a daily 20-kilometre jaunt. That's more exercise than the vast majority of even the most active people get. If it's not fun, it's pretty tough to be motivated to enjoy that much exercise.

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