Side Lying StretchTHE CHINESE PROVERB dealing with self-reliance, consistency and courage, plus getting somewhere on your own… lies in taking the first step. Many times we don’t know what that first step should be or even how to take it.

“If you walk across the street and are hit by a car, your chances of survival depend on the help you get, the speed with which you get it, the extent of your injuries, and your general condition at the moment of impact. You can’t decide you need a better musculature as you bounce off the fender. Strokes, too, demand that you be in combat-ready shape, because illness, like injury, is a form of combat.”

“If you have been “hit” with a stroke, the road back should start in your head. Even before you can lift a finger, see yourself lifting that finger. Give whole speeches in your head and feel the words in your mouth.”

“When you, your parent or your friend gets to the leg dangle stage, you’ll need three chairs to change sitting posture. Don’t just lie there in bed all day waiting for meals or a bed pan; get cracking and start exercising, if only with one hand, one foot… or an idea.”
—Bonnie Prudden’s After Fifty Fitness Guide

Ideas move mountains AND muscles. And so does music. You will need music too. Muscles listen to music and respond.

A few years ago a friend who was Bonnie Prudden trained had a stroke in early May. The attending physician asked her what her goal was. “To get back to teaching my exercise class,” she answered brightly. “Well, perhaps in a year,” was his answer.

She didn’t believe him.

Into her hospital bound suitcase had gone — along with her toothbrush — her music. Each day following the usual rehab, she got out her music and did her Bonnie exercises.

At first she did them in the bed. And as she progressed, sitting on the side of the bed, then sitting in the chairs, and then using her walker. “Where did you learn all that?” the aids wanted to know.

At the end of two weeks she was released from rehab and came to a Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy meeting in mid-June. I asked her to lead a warm-up to music. Following the warm-up, she received a Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy treatment. “Lead another warm-up!” I encouraged. The difference was almost too good to be true. The movements were larger, more vigorous and stronger and so were the “Yahoos!” of her friends. By August she was back teaching her exercise classes… eight months prior to the doctor-predicted year.

Not everyone proceeds at the same pace in life or in anything else. But we have found that all of the following help speed recovery.

But FIRST, music!!!!

  1. Start in your head: Ideas move mountains and muscles.
  2. Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy: A short treatment each day works wonders.
  3. Bed exercise: Start with the limbering series.
  4. Chair exercise: Toes in, toes out, knee to nose, scratch your back.
  5. Walker exercise: Use your walker for balance and use your music and imagination to move you.
  6. Aqua exercise: The floor progressions in the book can be used in the pool. Water builds strength by providing resistance and feels wonderful too!
  7. Bed Ballet: Click on the video below to watch how it is done.

The sample exercises found throughout this text (and many more) can be found in Bonnie Prudden’s After Fifty Fitness Guide. Make sure you click on the video below to see the Bed Ballet. And if you need extra help, you can reach me at 520-529-3979 or


For more information about Bonnie Prudden®, Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy®, workshops, books, self-help tools, DVDs, educational videos, and blogs, visit Or call 520-529-3979 if you have questions or need help. Enid Whittaker, Managing Director, Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy