Weekly Newsletter

June 7, 2023

Quote of the Week:

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” 

– Theodore Roosevelt

Strength and Power Training for

Older Adults & Family Caregivers:

Evidence-based studies show strength training for older adults

improves so many aspects of one’s life and well-being.  

What it is not: Just for “body builders” who want bulging biceps with rippling abdominal muscles.”

What is it good for? — preventing and controlling heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis. It’s even shown to be good for cognition and mood!

Too late to start? — Starting in your 30’s your muscles naturally weaken. Evidence shows just 10 weeks of resistance training makes a BIG difference.

Here’s a case: In 1990 (over 30 years ago) Dr’s. Maria A. Fiatarone MD; Elizabeth C. Marks MS; and Nancy D. Ryan DT did a study with 10 frail institutionalized volunteers over 90 years old. They revolutionized our understanding of the value and possibilities of strength training. Using high-resistance training these individuals improved in multiple meaningful ways. Speed of walking increased. Muscle size increased, and strength increased an average of 174%. 

Here’s a current link to Dr. Fiatarone’s website:

Improve Bone Density

Prevent or Manage Heart Disease

Manage & Prevent Worsening Joint Pain

Manage Diabetes

and Symptoms

How to Start Strength Training?

  1. Safety first: if you have not been physically active: Consult your doctor regarding unstable health conditions like asthma, high blood pressure, joint or bone disease, neurological illness, diabetes. Ask, will my medications affect exercise in any way?
  2. Know warning signs of distress: from your body like: chest pain, difficulty breathing that takes more than 5 minutes to go away. Faintness or loss of consciousness. Persisting or worsening joint pain.
  3. How to avoid injury: Warm up first. Use proper form or body mechanics. Don’t hold your breath. Build slowly over time. Rest for 48 hours between strength workouts. Slow down if the temperature goes up. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Listen to your body. You should be able to “talk” while exercising, even if you feel somewhat out of breath.
  4. The formula for each Muscles Group:

Reps: Number of repetitions of movement = one Set.

Rest a minute or 2 between sets of each muscle group.

  1. Muscle groups or exercises to start with:

10-12 reps in each set

Standing Calf Raise

Chair Stand

Stair Climbing

Hip Extension

How to Continue?

  1. Increase resistance: With therapy bands, leg weights, weight machine, change body position to increase pull of gravity.  
  2. Add new exercises — example:

Side leg raise:

After an illness or just lapse from training,

start easy (just like in the beginning).

Believe in yourself.

You’re worth it!

– Susan Musicant, Physical Therapist and

Senior Injury Prevention & Medication Safety Coordinator at DayBreak

Resources for Family Caregivers


Strength and Power Training for Older Adults

  • Exercise & Wellness Events from AARP: click link

  • Strength Training for Older Adults: The Silver Sneakers Guide

May 2023: Workshops & Events

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By donating, you will brighten the day of people,

helping them to meet the challenges of aging with more joy and better health.

DayBreak is here to assist seniors and caregivers in need.

If you know a senior who might benefit from our care and coordination services, or a caregiver in need of support, please have them contact us at


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