Oldest curler proof that age is no barrier

He's much more than just the world's oldest curler - Steve Gittus is living proof that age is no barrier to an active life, be it physically, mentally or emotionally.

Gittus celebrated his 103rd birthday at the Kamloops Curling Club on Saturday with members of the community, Canada's junior women's curling champions and Mildred, his lovely wife of seven years.

The spry centenarian developed his love for the game nearly 60 years ago during an army posting in a city he knew no one. The fellowship of curling quickly rectified that, however, with Gittus recalling knowing everyone in that Quebec City club by the end of the season.

Though he gave up golf a couple years ago, he's continued to try to better his curling abilities, playing at the Kamloops club a couple times a week over the last quarter century.

When Gittus is not driving in from the Shuswap to curl, he keeps his mind sharp by playing bridge.

He is a poster boy for baby boomers everywhere, a majority of who hold the misguided belief they are healthy despite not getting enough exercise, according to a recent poll by the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Foundation spokesman Dr. Beth Abramson said if lifestyle changes are made now, we can improve our health in the present, which will reduce hospitalizations, chronic disease and immobility in our later years.

Regular exercise also helps reduce brain shrinkage, according to another study of over 600 people done last fall and published in the journal Neurology.

As the vibrant Gittus showed both young and old curlers Saturday, aging may slow you down a little but edging into the later years is no excuse for a sedentary lifestyle - it keeps people healthy both mentally and physically.

If Gittus can continue to exercise his body and mind at the age of 103, what possible excuse can the rest of us have to not do the same?

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