Aging Well in the Gorge May 26th 2018

Do you consider yourself in good shape? I don’t mean becoming another Charles Atlas, but having the ability to do the things you enjoy doing without feeling limited. For example, I may no longer be able to run a five-minute mile, (Why would I want to go through that pain again!), but I would like to be able to get under the sink to fix the leaking drain pipe. Well, actually, I don’t really want to that either. But I would like to be in good enough shape to have the stamina to walk 10,000 steps a day.
In an article on’s website. written by Sara Schwartz, fitness expert Joel Harper explains there are five elements to being in good shape: muscle strength, heart strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination. To help assess your fitness level and what elements you may want to work on, he has devised the following set of activities. (Warning! You will have to get down on the floor.) They only a take a few minutes and require no equipment.
See how many you can complete. And it is always a good idea to talk to your doctor before trying anything too demanding.
1.Stand up. Rise from a chair without using your hands; a test of balance, coordination and muscle strength.
2. Take a walk. Walk briskly for three blocks; a test of cardiovascular ability.
3. Pulse your arms. Hold your arms straight out to the side, palms up, at shoulder height and pulse them 1 inch upwards 25 times. Do three more sets of 25 pulses but change the direction your palms are facing — facing down, facing forward and facing backward. This is a test of muscle strength.
4. Stay on your toes. Balance on your toes for 30 seconds without touching your heels to the ground; a test of balance.
5. Balance on one foot. Stand on your left foot and clap your hands 30 times, then switch feet and repeat; a test of balance.
6. Rise up, hands-free. Lie on your back on the floor and get up to a standing position without using your hands; a test of muscle strength and coordination.
7. Do yard work. Rake leaves or shovel snow for 20 minutes; a test of cardio and muscle strength.
8. Hold a plank. Hold yourself in upper push-up position (otherwise known as “plank position”) for 30 seconds; a test of muscle strength.
9. Bounce those knees. Get down on the floor on all fours with your palms on the floor directly below your shoulders and your knees on the floor directly below your hips. Keeping your upper body stationary, lift your knees so they are hovering off the ground, and bounce them upward 1 inch and back down to the hovering start position for 45 seconds without stopping. This is a test of cardio and muscle strength.
So how did you do? What elements do you need to work on? Endurance? Balance? Muscle strength? Heart strength? Flexibility? All of the above?
Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities in the area to get in shape including the movement classes at the Center. But remember, staying fit is not an end in itself. It is the means to living the life you want to live.
The name of the popular sketch comedy show on which Richard Nixon appeared and recited the shows famous catch phrase, “Sock it to me.” was Laugh-In. (I received correct answers from Don McAllister, Kim Birge, Jeannie Pesicka, Jim Ayers, Sandy Haechrel and this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket, Sharon Hull.)
In 1962 from April 21 to October 21, the Century 21 Exposition (the official name) was held with the motto “Living in the Space Age”. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what observation tower was built for the exposition and is considered an icon of the host city? And for bonus points, President Kennedy was supposed to attend the closing ceremony, but didn’t because of a “heavy cold” when in fact he was dealing with what international crisis? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a model replica of a Boeing 727 jetliner.
Well, it’s been another week, looking for any good idea. Until we meet again, every morning when you get dressed, don’t forget to put on a smile – and zip up your zipper!

““Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” Lao Tzu