Weekly Newsletter

April 3, 2024

A Great Source of Information for

Caregivers of Aging Adults

4 Types of Exercise in Later Life: How to maintain strength, balance, & independence in aging by Leslie Kernisan, MD MPH

Who is Dr. Leslie Kernisan? Dr. Kernisan has a particular interest in supporting family caregivers and in making geriatrics expertise available online. She is the founder of BetterHealthWhileAging.net, a website and podcast that provides practical information on aging, health, and family caregiving.

Listen to her podcasts: The Better Health While Aging Podcast

Get her monthly newsletter:

Ways to reach her:  

Dr. Leslie Kernisan MD

Telephone: 415-574-0545

Fax: 415-634-0204

P.O. Box 170376

San Francisco, CA 94117-0376


How and why to learn to love the floor…

Being on the floor has a bad reputation.  People say:

  • “The floor is dirty.”
  • “Are you okay?  Why are you lying on the floor?”
  • “Grown ups don’t lie on the floor. Didn’t your mother tell you that!”

Dr. Alan Fogel a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Utah and the author of “Restorative Embodiment and Resilience” says:

Lying on the ground might help us avoid ruminating. In our Western culture, we don’t have a lot of spaces for restoration. There’s no timeouts. There’s no recess.

You may assume that a comfortable mattress would be more conducive to relaxation. But typically what happens, especially in familiar places like our bed, is our mind keeps working, Dr. Fogel said. We think about what happened during the day. We think about what we could have done or should have done.

When lying on a harder surface like the floor, however, you may become more attuned to what your body is feeling and less focused on your thoughts.

To get comfortable, it becomes necessary to sink into the floor and soften your muscles, Dr. Fogel added. The focus on letting go makes it easier to help the body and mind decompress — to “just be,” he said.

With that said — Let’s review how to get to the floor safely, comfortably.  And even see it as a great exercise in itself.  And, a great place to do exercise — like yoga, for example, once you’re on the floor.

The How To: Getting to the

Floor and Back Up Again

  1.  If you are a gymnast — there are many elegant ways.
  2. If you are a toddler — there are also many, not necessarily elegant ways.
  3. If you practice yoga — you already practice getting up and down from the floor.

If you an elder or just someone who hasn’t gotten on the floor for a while: Here’s some helpful instructions…

Check out this great Youtube from Silver Sneakers:

Not only is it helpful and functional to be able to get down and then up again — to the floor. It’s also a GREAT exercise.  

She shows a lunge position here in the video. Here’s a simple graphic of a simple lunge. A great strengthening exercise. And a great first step in building strength to gracefully get down to floor (without holding onto furniture).

And here’s a little exercise tutorial to learn how to do a lunge “properly” 


So what’s wrong with using furniture to get up & down from the floor?

Check this out:

Be sure to check Dr, Kernisan’s newsletter linked here:

4 Types of Exercise in Later Life: How to maintain strength, balance, & independence in aging. She covers it all!

Last but not least — Check out our DayBreak “Get Your Zoom On” (GYZO)

Virtual exercise class, given 3 times per week: Especially for “under-active older adults” who know they should but don’t know how to get started exercising. Lead by a physical therapist, specialized in older adult physical therapy. No cost.  

Email: Susan Musicant, Injury Prevention Coordinator at susan@daybreakac.org

Upcoming Events & Workshops:

Empower Change Through Giving

Together, we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of

elders and family caregivers who selflessly support them.


DayBreak is committed to empowering elders and supporting caregivers.

If you know an elder in need of our care and coordination services, or a family caregiver seeking assistance, please encourage them to reach out to us at:


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