NoraNagatani.com Ends Regular Run

My Precious Grandchildren

It is a bittersweet moment as I write this post — my 150th — and as I make this my final regular post.  I started this three years ago as a fun project and as an activity to keep my brain stimulated. It has definitely been fun and I’ve never been at a loss as to what to write. I’ve always been on the lookout for interesting topics, at least to me and hopefully to you, too, and they have always come my way. However, a couple of months ago, I launched a “Gracefully Age” newsletter with my Gracefully Age Program, so I’ve decided to put my efforts into the newsletter. Please sign up for my newsletter on the Home page of my new Web site, GracefullyAge.com.

Additionally, everyone knows most seniors have health issues. Have you gotten together with your senior friends and noticed that inevitably, the topic of conversations revolves around health or most likely, lack thereof. Do these sound familiar?

  • My back hurts or my neck hurts or my knee hurts.
  • I’m a pre-diabetic or I’ve become a diabetic.
  • I can’t keep up with my grandkids.
  • I don’t sleep well at night.
  • Etc.

As an energy healer, I have studied and practiced a number of modalities, but most recently, I came across one called, The Emotion Code (TEC). Previous to finding TEC, I had studied another modality which I liked, but it was very hard to explain to my clients. TEC turned out to be similar, but uses words that my clients and I understand. So I became certified in TEC.

I am really excited about being able to help people and seeing their pain and problems disappear using TEC. Depending on the number of trapped emotions that the person has, it could be a very quick session or it might take several sessions. It could be done in-person, over the phone, or simply by my being your proxy. Understand that everything is energy and that you simply need the desire to rid yourself of your trapped emotions that could be causing any number of health issues or diseases. For more information, please go to GracefullyAge.com/emotion-code.

As I say goodbye for now, I want to thank everyone for their support. As I shift my energies in other ways to help the senior population, I hope you will join me in my new endeavors. If you’re not getting up excited every morning to pursue your passion, then perhaps I can help. Check out the Gracefully Age Program and sign up for your complimentary session.

Good luck and all the best for the rest of your awesome life!

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Remembering Names

One of the biggest problems seniors often lament is remembering names. We recognize faces because that information has been registered in our subconscious minds, but remembering names is a different story. What’s your trick for recalling names that don’t come to you immediately? Going down the alphabet perhaps? David Perlmutter, MD, in The Better Brain Book, has an exercise that will help you to remember names immediately after being introduced and for an extended period after that. He says it should not take more than 10 minutes a day.

You will need a deck of cards and a phone book. Maybe your kids don’t have a phone book in their house, but surely you do.

  1. Each morning randomly select a name from the phone book; choose a card from the deck.
  2. Write down the first name selected from the phone book and the suit on the card.
  3. Say the name and the suit out loud after you write it down.
  4. Create a mental image of both the name and the suit being placed into your mental names file.
  5. After lunch try to recall both the name and the suit by creating a picture in your head of your names file and imagine yourself opening that file. Repeat after dinner. (If you were successful after dinner, but not after lunch, it counts as success).
  6. Do the above exercise daily for a week. Once you are successful for six out of the seven days, move on the to next step.
  7. Instead of writing down just the first name from the phone book, write the first and last name and pick one card from the deck.

Once you have mastered this exercise, remembering names should come to you easily. According to Perlmutter, the key to success is two-fold:

  • Say the person’s name out loud.
  • Visualize the name and the person and put it into your names file.

So the next time you meet this person, you’ll be greeting him or her by their name while the other person will be asking you for yours or have that puzzled look on their face trying to recall your name. Remembering names now comes easily to you. Let me know how this works for you.

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How to Energize Yourself in Two Simple Steps

In my last post, I wrote about the grueling hike in the Cascades Recreation Area of the Jefferson National Forest. I definitely needed a lot of energy and tenacity. Senior hikers were in the extremely small minority. Being close to a college town, most of the hikers looked to be college students. In the video below, I want to share what I did to energize myself in two simple steps.

How to Energize Yourself in Two Simple Steps


 

Virginia Tech and Cascades Recreation Area

It was time for an out-of-town adventure and time to check off Virginia Tech from my bucket list. But a 4+ hour overnight trip would not be filled with just a visit to a university campus. In researching things to do in Blacksburg, Va, the Cascades Recreation Area in the Jefferson National Forest seemed like a worthwhile and fun place to visit. What seemed enticing was not only the hike, but the reward of seeing a magnificent 69 foot waterfall. (Seniors, you can get in free with your National Park Pass).

To get to the falls required a round trip four-mile hike which I thought would be a piece of cake considering I had done an 8.15 mile walk in the Great Aloha Run. Studying the map at the beginning of the hike, it appeared that the lower trail would be more scenic and “easier” because the upper trail was described as being more challenging because of the hill. Hence, we chose the lower trail and began our hike along the lovely Little Stoney Creek.

“Easier” is a relative term — easier if you’re younger and “grueling” in my book with having to step over all shapes and heights of rocks, twisted roots, numerous steps, and narrow pathways. Knowing what was at the end of the trail, I could not give up. Truthfully, I could not have done it without my husband. Well, maybe I could’ve, but it would’ve taken all day and there were dark clouds above and a thunderstorm looming. As we passed people coming down, they kept saying we were almost there and it was worth it.

There comes a point where the lower trail and upper trail meet and it becomes just one path to the falls. I asked a group if they had taken the upper trail (the one we had not chosen) and they said yes and a gentleman explained that it was a road that the park uses for maintenance. Therefore, it was wide and smooth. What a relief that we had an easier way back, but it was raining so the mud road was a little slippery. But, we could still walk much faster and get back to our car.

It took about 1.5 hours to get to the top and it was definitely worthwhile. I was drenched in perspiration on a cool day, but what an awesome view and an exhilarating feeling of accomplishment. I had an apple for nourishment which my body really needed. Unfortunately, it started to rain so we did not have much time to enjoy the view and had to start our descent on some slippery rocks and steps. However, once we got to the maintenance road, it felt as though we were home free.

It was a wonderful trip in every way — one of the best front desk people I’ve ever encountered (Ritz Carlton quality at a Hampton Inn), excellent service and food at Sal’s Italian Restaurant, and on the way home we stopped at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum in Staunton, Va where we had an excellent tour guide. That was the icing on the cake. Oh, and yes, the visit to Virginia Tech and their hokie stone buildings was also awesome. Now I know why they’re called Hokies.

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Ooma vs Magic Jack VoIP Phone System

Ooma Telo

Ever heard of Ooma? I hadn’t until I read about it in the May 2011 issue of Consumer Reports. So here’s a money-saving tip for seniors. You simply buy a base (adapter) like shown on the left and on one side you connect it to your router or modem and on the other side you connect it to the base station of your landline phone. Your calls will be going over the Internet so you do need Internet service and you do need to register with Ooma online, but once you do that, you do not need to keep your computer on like you do with similar services such as Magic Jack or Skype. I’ve not tried Ooma, but I am a fan of Magic Jack and Skype.

The downside is that the base costs about $200 at amazon.com. That’s the lowest price I found in checking prices at cnet.com. You do have to pay for taxes and fees each month, but after testing several zip codes, it was only $3.47. The Ooma Web site provides a tax calculator for you to input your zip code. According to a review at PC World, the pros of Ooma are the free local and long-distance domestic calls and excellent sound quality, but the cons are that the advanced calling features cost extra and the long-distance calling does not include Canada. But according to their Web site, you can call 70 countries for less than a penny per minute.

Personally, Magic Jack has worked very well for me. You simply insert it into a USB port on your computer and plug your phone into the jack on the Magic Jack adapter. Unlike Ooma, your computer needs to be on in order to talk on the phone. However, what I really like is that even though your Magic Jack is not plugged into your computer, people can still call you and leave a message. You will then be notified by e-mail if there’s a message and you can listen to the message via your e-mail. Once again, Amazon had the lowest price of $36.70. The first year is free and thereafter, it’s $20 a year for calls in the United States and Canada (Canada is a long distance call with Ooma).

If you are considering either of these services or any other service, be sure to do your due diligence before making a decision. But the services that use the Internet like Ooma and Magic Jack are definitely worth considering.

 

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Seniors and Weight Loss

One of the ways that I keep up with what’s available for seniors in my county (Fairfax County) is a small, valuable periodical that I subscribe to called, The Golden Gazette. The topic of “weight loss” was discussed when a reader asked the following:

I am about 30 pounds overweight and I’ve decided that I want to lose weight and get healthier. Can you share some tips for losing weight that would be appropriate for a senior?

The article commended the reader because losing weight has the following benefits:

  • Feel better about yourself
  • Reduce risk of a variety of diseases
  • Help manage chronic diseases
  • Keep you mobile and independent with age

Weight is controlled by a number of things:

  • Family history
  • What you eat and drink
  • Energy you use to live and be active

As I mentioned in a previous post on how to lose weight, this article said the same thing: consume fewer calories from food and beverages and become more physically active. One pound equals 3,500 calories, so in order to lose a pound a week, reduce your caloric intake by 500 calories per day. Cutting out two servings of butter and exercising for 30 minutes at a moderate pace is an example of what you could do.

As always, check with your medical practitioner before embarking on any weight loss program. Here is an excellent Web site with online tools available for you. www.healthychoicessolutioncenter.org. For other senior services in Fairfax County, check out the Senior Navigator Web site.

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Great Aloha Run and Commitment

Before leaving for Hawaii a couple of weeks ago, I made a commitment to walk the Great Aloha Run. My sister was running in it so I told her I’d cheer her on. Then she said a lot of people walk it. It never crossed my mind to do anything like it, but I wanted the “Finisher” t-shirt to demonstrate something that I’d never done in my life. It was amazing that just making a decision was the greatest hurdle to overcome. Once I made the decision, the practice and training fell into place.

When we find that we have something that we have difficulty getting started … could it be that we simply have not made the decision to do whatever we need to do? For example, as seniors, we all know that death is a greater reality than it was when we were younger. We have many decisions to make, one of which is where to live out our life. Older seniors are advising us to pack up and move now. Move closer to family. Sage advice, but we haven’t made the decision.

I look at my neighbor in his early 80’s. He’s not made the decision either, although he’s on a wait list at a senior facility and has been called about an opening. And because he’s not yet made a decision or commitment, he is having trouble getting started on the project to move. Unfortunately, as seniors, we have to face the reality that the longer we wait, our bodies may not be in any condition to handle such a huge project.

Going back to the Great Aloha Run … it was an 8.15-mile run (walk). I was advised to soak in the tub, preferably in Epsom salt, after the race because I was catching a flight that afternoon. I also wore compression socks on the plane and was fortunate to get a seat where I could get up and walk around on the new Airbus 330. That night in my hotel room my legs felt really heavy, but I rubbed a generous amount of Sunjing, the only all-natural analgesic that I know of, and the next morning I was up early in almost perfect condition to continue the journey back to the East Coast.

Sadly, we were actually in Hawaii for my husband’s mother’s funeral. She died suddenly at age 93 of a massive heart attack. She enjoyed the outdoors and in her later life did a lot of walking. So we took her spirit along with us and I’m sure she helped us complete the Great Aloha Run.

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Happy New Year 2011!

It’s been just over two years since I started this blog and what an enlightening journey it’s been. When I started it, I was writing two times a week and then cut down to once a week when I started aboutalz.com. Now, as the new year begins, I am in the process of developing a new program, Gracefully Age Program  (GAP), where I work with seniors and baby boomers who struggle to find enough time to take care of their aging bodies, but would like to feel like they are in their 20’s again … except with better judgment.

My clients and I work together on the goals to be accomplished. Currently, we are in a three-month pilot program, but the actual program starts this spring and will run for six months. I am developing resources for the program as well as joint ventures. My program will be unique in that as a Cellular Response energy healer, I will incorporate energy exercises which I find totally intriguing.

As my blog has pointed out for the past couple of years, we seniors need to take care of our bodies if we want to have a good quality of life ahead of us. As I observe seniors around me, so many of them have let their bodies deteriorate. They have no energy. They have no sparkle in their faces. They are in pain. Diseases are rampant. I felt a program like GAP could help people even more than what I am doing in my Cellular Response practice. But only people who are committed to do anything to have optimal health will succeed in such a program. We all know people who could benefit from such a program, but they are going to have to want it for themselves. I will be the link that will help them achieve their goals.

So, I need more time to spend on the next chapter of my retirement career of helping more people and therefore, I will be adding to my blog every other Wednesday instead of weekly. I’ll be back in two weeks.

I appreciate your friendship. Make 2011 the best year ever!

Best New Products for Older Adults

George Mason University Science & Tech Bldg

Isn’t it amazing how a resource can be in your own back yard, and you not know about it? Finding out about the resource is like opening a surprise birthday gift on your birthday. It started with Steve Gurney’s blog post. Steve is well-known in the Washington Metropolitan Area as an expert and publisher of Guide to Retirement Living.

In his blog, he published a press release for the “Nana” technology competition at George Mason University located in Northern Virginia. It was the second annual New Product and Technology Awards sponsored by the Mature Market Resource Center. It’s a recognition for innovative products and services for older adults and their families. The winners have not been announced, but the entrants were in the categories of Internet and computer technologies; monitoring/detection devices; prevention/health maintenance products and services; housing and design; safety products; fitness/recreation/hobbies and more.

Unfortunately, by the time I had arrived, they were getting ready to shut down and there were very few products on display. But in speaking with one of the judges, he showed me a device that the judges liked — a very small phone that you’d wear, much like the alarm button that many seniors wear, but with a lot more features.

Perhaps in the next few weeks, when the winners are announced, I’ll be able to post a list of the winners and their products. But I encourage any creative folks out there to think about us senior folks and how you can help make our lives easier.

I also learned that not only was George Mason University named the number one national university to watch in 2009 by U.S. News & World Report, it also now has a major in Assisted Living/Senior Housing Administration. They have had a program in the area for a few years, but now they actually have a major — the first academic curricula in the nation dedicated exclusively to the senior housing and care industry. Click here to learn more.

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Line Dancing for Seniors in Fairfax County

Susie Thomas

Last week I talked about the fun I’m having in senior aerobics. How about doubling the fun? It’s line dancing for seniors. I’ve always wanted to take line dancing lessons, but now that I’m retired and have the freedom to travel, dance lessons would be difficult because each week would build on the previous week and I would be totally lost were I to miss a week or two. Enter line dancing for seniors in Fairfax County, Virginia — a huge class with an enrollment of over 100. However, each week perhaps two-thirds of the enrolled show up, according to an enthusiast in my aerobics class.

A light goes off in my head … even if I were to miss some classes, I could hide in the back and still try to follow someone and have fun. The tuition: a whopping $5 for for eight sessions!

The Washington Post recently had a small article that said …

Who’s getting a better workout in a step class: the gym junkie who knows the moves and fluidly mirrors the instructor, or the klutz who’s frantically jumping all over the place in a desperate attempt to keep up? If you said the klutz, you are right.

Quite an apt description of me because I definitely feel like a klutz amongst the mostly experienced students, but who cares. It is so much fun and I know my brain is getting a workout as well! The enthusiasm and smiles you see in the group are contagious. If you’ve never tried it, I highly recommend that you check to see if it’s available in your community or recreation center.

The program I’m enrolled in is part of the Fairfax County Senior Center Without Walls. It is a public-private partnership amongst the residents, local businesses, places of worship, and the County Government. It is an innovative program initiated by determined volunteers and the classes are held mostly in churches in the community. In addition to line dancing, yoga, tai chi, running-walking club, and karate are also offered.

I will miss it very much in the fall when my yoga class resumes. So line dancing will be a wonderful summer activity I can look forward to.

My classmates

Check out this video from a former class and see if you agree that it looks like a lot of fun and excellent exercise as well. Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtTh-VL1S9Q&feature=channel

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