The President’s Challenge: Adult Fitness Test

About three years ago,the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports introduced an adult fitness test. If you did not get the Presidential Physical Fitness Award while you were in school, here’s your chance to prove your fitness or to just get started moving your body. Actually, the awards did not even exist when we seniors were in school. In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson established the Presidential Physical Fitness Award for exceptional achievement by boys and girls ages 10 to 17. Now, here’s your chance to keep up with our children and grandchildren. Our starting point is The President’s Challenge: Adult Fitness Test.

However, if exercise is not part of your routine, be sure to seek the advice of your medical practitioner first. The test is for people 18 and older who are in good health. Although the Web site has a “senior” link, the link is not working. That’s unfortunate because certainly most of our senior bodies are no longer like the younger generation. However, the test was inspired by the many baby boomers who asked council members if there was a fitness test available that was similar to the ones used in schools. The test has four basic parts:

  • Aerobic fitness—the ability of your heart and lungs to deliver blood to muscles
  • Muscular strength and endurance—whether you are strong enough to do normal activities easily and protect your lower back
  • Flexibility—the ability to move your joints through their proper range of motion
  • Body composition—whether you have too much body fat, especially around the waist

To get the details go to: http://www.presidentschallenge.org/challenge/adult.shtml. If you’re not in the best of shape, getting started is probably one of the most difficult steps and staying motivated can be even more difficult. As I mentioned in my last blog post, making a decision is critical. To stay motivated, the program offers awards that you can sign up for on the same Web site. Having an accountability partner has proven to be one of the best ways to move ahead in many areas of life. Find out about my new Gracefully Age Program by contacting me — gracefullyageprogram@gmail.com or by calling 703.825.8384. I encourage you to accept the President’s Challenge and take the Adult Fitness Test.

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In the past year, I’ve been introduced to two energy healing modalities — Quantum-Touch and Cellular Response. Both advocate that your body can heal itself. The first time I sought a Quantum-Touch practitioner was because I had fallen hard on my cheek bone and it did not feel right after many months despite the fact that the ophthalmologist and the otolaryngologist could find nothing wrong. I found Miriam Hunter in Virginia and she balanced the energy in my body, showed me some exercises and I felt much relief.

Cellular Response was something I experienced just a few days ago on a visit to California. During my yoga class a couple of months ago, I noticed that I did not have full range of motion with my left arm stretched above my head lying on the floor. Additionally, if I tried to lift my arm in the “wrong” direction, it was painful. At the beginning of the treatment, while standing, I was able to lift my left arm 90 degrees straight out to the side. By the end, I could lift it to almost 180 degrees. It’s weak from limited use, but I was given weight-training instructions to strengthen it. I’ve always had a left knee that tends to buckle and the practitioner found that my hips were not aligned. Now he says, I should walk a lot better. Hopefully, that will prevent falls as well.

I spent almost three hours at a Cellular Response workshop where, under the guidance of the master instructor and developer of Cellular Response, Dan Yamaguchi, I watched his students of all levels work on mostly seniors (after all, aren’t we the group with all of the aches and pains?) for a myriad of health problems. One person was about to receive treatment for cancer and although Cellular Response cannot cure cancer (it does not claim to cure anything), a person can get relief from the effects such as nausea and it can even prevent hair loss. I also watched while someone with calcium deposits from arthritis on her fingers had them broken up so that the lump on her fingers got smaller.

According to quantumtouch.com, Quantum-Touch is a powerful, yet easy to learn, method of natural healing (or energy healing).  Everyone has the innate ability to help ourselves and others. The Quantum-Touch techniques teach us how to focus and amplify life-force energy (or Chi, Bioenergy, Prana) by combining various breathing and energy awareness exercises.  QT energy healers learn to amplify and direct the life-force energy, facilitating the body’s own healing process. Our love has more impact than we can imagine; the possibilities are truly extraordinary.

The Cellular Response brochure says that Cellular Response is a healing art. It is a procedure used to activate one’s cellular response to promote natural healing. A gentle touch to specific body points along with a breathing process is used during this procedure. The basic premise is that the body will heal by itself and return to a normal state. Cellular Response accelerates the self-healing process.

Quantum Touch offers teleseminars. For more information, click here. Richard Gordon, founder of Quantum-Touch, wrote a book called, Quantum-Touch: The Power to Heal. He explains all of the basic techniques in his book.

Cellular Response currently operates mainly in the Silicon Valley/San Jose area of California, although there are a few practitioners elsewhere. For more information, you can e-mail me at nora@noranagatani.com or call me at  703.825.8384. I find energy healing fascinating and in line with my view of using all natural products instead of prescription medication. Click here to view my post on prescription medication and nutrient depletion.

How to Ease Shoulder Pain

shoulder_rotation2Pain … ouch! Every decade seems to assure most of us that there’ll be more pain in some part of the body that we never felt before. One of the typical places is the shoulder where many muscles, tendons, and ligaments stabilize the joint. Years of activity as simple as reaching up for something or playing a musical instrument can lead to wear and tear on the joint and make the shoulder prone to injury. Falls or other accidents can also lead to injury.

You can keep your joints supple and strong by doing some exercises like the illustrations. However, if

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you are already feeling pain, you want to nurse that area and make sure you do not cause further injury and pain. Once the inflammation is down by using ice packs and perhaps over-the-counter medication, you can start exercising.

One exercise shown to the right is a deltoids stretch. You bring your arm across your body and press gently with the opposite arm either above or below the elbow. Hold for 30 seconds. For more information, check http:exrx.net.

http://familydoctor.org also offers some exercises below you can do. Having been through physical therapy myself, I know these were exercises that were recommended to me.

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Exercise 1

Exercise 1: Range of motion. Stand up and lean over so you’re facing the floor. Let your sore arm dangle straight down. Draw circles in the air with your sore arm. Start with small circles, and then draw bigger ones. Repeat these exercises 5 to 10 times during the day. If you have pain, stop. You can try again later.

Exercise 2

Exercise 2

Exercise 2: Rotator cuff strengthening. Use a piece of rubber tubing for these exercises. Stand next to a closed door with a doorknob. Loop the tubing around the knob. With your hand that is closest to the door, bend your arm at a 90° angle and grab the loop of the tubing. Pull the band across your tummy. At first, do 1 set of 10 exercises. Try to increase the number of sets as your shoulder pain lessens. These exercises should be done every day.

Exercise 3

Exercise 3

Exercise 3: Upper extremity strengthening. As your pain goes away, try adding a general upper body weight-lifting program using weight machines or free weights. Lie on your right side with your left arm at your side. With a weight in your left hand and your forearm across your tummy, raise your forearm. Keep your elbow near your side.

Topical pain relievers like creams and patches might also give some relief. They are widely used in other countries, but are less popular here. Topical analgesics might cause skin reactions, but pills affect the gut and blood.The one I use before I sleep is called Sunjing. For more information, click here.

Hopefully, this discussion of exercises and pain relievers will give you some relief if you are suffering from shoulder pain.

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