Weekly Newsletter

March 6, 2024

Exercise for Elders, Caregivers, and Everyone

Is it really important and also, really possible to start exercising and becoming physically active when you’re elderly and frail? Or feel older and frail? Or you are taking care of someone who is elderly and frail?

The body, the spirit, and the mind are all connected. 

You may have to use one part to support the rest. 

If your body is active, it also helps your mind and spirit. 

If your spirit is active, it can help you get your mind and body active. 

If your mind is active it can help bring your body and spirit back to robustness. 

The mind-body-spirit connection is the idea that these three aspects of ourselves are interconnected. We experience the world through our mind, body, and spirit. And when one of these aspects is out of balance, it can affect the others.

Can your posture affect your mood?

Focus on this drawing here  

Same person, same day.

What’s going on with the person on the left?

The person on the right?

Which came first, the horse or the cart?

Could you change your mood by just sitting up taller? YES!

Sometimes the proof is in the pudding.    

CDC says - taking a walk can improve your mood.

But you already knew that, right?!

But if you’re looking for proof:

They can look into your brain with brain scans (MRI, CT scan) and see what part of your brain is working and what can improve your thinking and problem solving function. And they HAVE FOUND THAT EXERCISE IMPROVES YOUR BRAIN!

fMRI: A special type of MRI is the functional MRI of the brain, also known as fMRI. It produces images of blood flow to certain areas of the brain. Functional MRI can be used to examine the brain's anatomy and show which parts of the brain are handling critical functions, language and movements. This information can help guide decisions when considering someone for brain surgery.

How to Start:

After you’ve been physically sick, depressed, exhausted and you need to bring the body back from debilitation… 

If your loved one has been gradually declining, get a diagnosis of progressive decline (like Alzheimer’s), a recent illness, after hospitalization…

One step at a time!…

  1. Ask your doctor and make sure you or your loved one are healthy enough to start exercising.
  2. If bedridden, start with bed exercises.
  3. If barely walking — start with short distances and gradually increase.
  4. Make exercise and physical activity a habit. (Check out: “Tiny Habits that Change Everything” by BJ Fogg)
  5. Build toward a goal of activity and exercise you truly enjoy and make it part of your life.
  6. Do you or your loved one enjoy music — “move to music!"

Check out the recording from 7/12/23 — “Exercises for Frail Elders” where you will learn or relearn:

  1. Exercises in bed; sitting exercises; getting started walking again.
  2. Remember, or re-learn the joy and importance of stretching like a cat: “pandiculation” - Read Article >
  3. Learn what are the only “good” reasons to not start exercising — and be sure to get the medical okay before you start trying to get active again.
  4. Consider working on getting up and down from the floor. There are some important things to know and practice! And it could be much easier than you think. Practice.
  5. Find out where to get help getting started to get yourself, or your loved one “back on their feet.” — ask your primary care provider or nurse for a prescription for physical therapy. 

What you might not have considered:

  • Rome was not built in a day. Your beloved great aunt maybe fell, at 93 and had to have surgery for her broken hip. If she can’t stand now, will she ever walk again? How do I help her?
  • My husband has gradually declined because of gradually worsening mental functioning. But he still walks. Do I need to “help” him be more active now? He’s still walking?
  • I’m depressed. Where do I start if I can barely get out of bed? “One step at a time?” How do I do that?!

Here’s the link to the recording of DayBreak webinar from 7/12/23:

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, encourage them to reach out to us at:


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