Introduction to the Ageless Grace 21 Exercise Tools

The 21 Exercise Tools include right and left-brain activities and numbered sequences of physical movements in patterns that play ‘games’ with the mind. There are also mind-body directions that allow the brain to consciously choose and direct the movement of the body in either a random or specific sequence.

The 21 Exercise Tools have vivid, easy-to-remember names and include imagery, creativity, playfulness, variety, polarity, sound, expression, words and games. They are used to stimulate and release endorphins and engage the nervous system.

Practicing the Ageless Grace Tools for just 10 minutes a day will help the body function with optimal efficiency, and with comfort and ease throughout your life. Participate in our Personal Practice Workshop and learn the 21 Tools for personal practice. Each of these tools focus on a primary physical skill necessary for lifelong optimal function. Movements are done to up-tempo music.

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Intentionally nourishing the mind-body connection on a daily basis can help improve health and well-being, reduce stress, keep the brain agile and the body responsive. When body, mind, spirit and emotions are in balance, health and well-being follow. Ageless Grace offers something for each of these dimensions.

For the mind, there are right- and left-brain movement activities, numbering sequences of physical movements in patterns that play games with the mind; and there are mind-body directives that encourage the brain to consciously choose and direct the movement of the body in either a random or specific sequence.

For the emotions, there are sounds, words, expressions and “pretend” emotions that are used to inspire, stimulate, and release endorphins, while simultaneously allowing the body to release tension and tightness.

For the spirit, the movements incorporate imagery, creativity, variety, playfulness, polarities, sound and games, all performed to a wide range of music that encourages self-expression, nourishing the authentic self.

And finally, for the body, particular attention is paid to: range of motion and optimal function of the 13 major joints of the body; the 20 digits; the relationship of all the parts of the body to the whole; the re-development of the ability to move from the floor to standing and back again; the use of sensations such as flexibility, agility, mobility, stability and strength to restore and rejuvenate the body; the mind-body connection; the brain as stimulus for the central nervous system; and improvement of both cognitive and motor function, including balance.

Each of the Ageless Grace tools emphasises different anti-ageing techniques:

Joint mobility
Spinal flexibility
Right-left brain coordination
Bone density
Kinaesthetic learning
Cognitive function
Stimulates the 5 functions of the Brain

Systemic health
Balance
Fall prevention
Healthy myofascia (often misdiagnoses as arthritis)
Self-esteem
Confidence
Playfulness

Exercise Tool #1

Juicy Joints

Joint Mobility and Flexibility, Circulation (If we can move our joints regularly in a pain-free way we can maintain our mobility)

Exercise Tool #2

Dive In!

Upper Body and Abdominal Strength, Coordination (We need to keep our upper body strength by looking after it)

Exercise Tool #3

Spelling “B” (for Body)

Cognitive Function, Kinesthetic Learning, Range of Motion (Strategic planning; Memory; Analytical Thinking; Creativity and Imagination; Kinaesthetic Learning)

Exercise Tool #4

Front Row Orchestra

Spinal Flexion, Right-left Brain Coordination, Eye-Hand Coordination (Allowing us to live a full and active life)

Exercise Tool #5

Zoo-ology

Breath Support, Fall Prevention, Cognitive Function (Memory/Recall and Imagination), Sense of Humor (Not only massaging our body systems and organs but also maintaining core strength)

Exercise Tool #6

Try Chi

Joint Stability, Eye-Hand Coordination, Breathing (Helping in fall prevention)

Exercise Tool #7

Yo Baby!

Flexibility, Alignment, Joint Stability (Helping ourselves live in comfort and ease)

Exercise Tool #8

Body Math

Cognitive Function, Agility, Neural Response (Prepare yourself for the unexpected so that you can continue along your merry way)

Exercise Tool #9

Gentle Geometry

Coordination, Neural Response, Multi-skilling, Sense of Humor – (The brain’s wonderful ability to regenerate itself)
Click here to watch an example of Gentle Geometry

Exercise Tool #10

Rockin’ Rockettes

(Our gait is dependent on our hip flexors, legs and feet)
Lower Body Strength, Hip Mobility, Ankle and Foot Flexibility, Arch Support

Exercise Tool #11

Spaghetti Spine

Flexibility, Mobility and Nervous System Stimulation (We need to keep moving all parts of our spine to maintain or improve our spinal health and function)

Exercise Tool #12

Express Yourself!

Mobility and Agility in the hands, fingers, arms and shoulders (We use our shoulders and upper arm extensively. We need to look after them)

Exercise Tool #13

“Power” Tools

Imagination, Memory/Recall, stimulation of shoulder, arm, hand muscles and ligaments, Coordination (We use our own body strength and increase it using tools)

Exercise Tool #14

Saving Face

Stimulation and Coordination of Facial Muscles, Headache Relief, Release of TMJ and other Tension, Sense of Humour (Let’s exercise our fascial muscles, exercise our eyes and release tension)

Exercise Tool #15

Balancing Act

Fall Prevention, Inner Ear Fluid Stimulation, Bone Density (Loss of balance is a major concern)

Exercise Tool #16

Breathe Out Loud

Oxygenation of Cells (bloodstream, muscles, brain), Sense of Humour, Stress Relief. (The breath of life. As our body changes with age we may need to give our breath a bit of help. Or use it to help us relax).

Exercise Tool #17

Grab Bag

Hand and Finger Muscles, Joint Flexibility and Mobility, Eye-hand Coordination, Right/left Brain Function (We need to demonstrate our ability to look after ourselves as we age. Dexterity in our fingers and hands is an important part of that)

Exercise Tool #18

Shake It Up Baby!

Nervous System Stimulation, Skin and Connective Tissue Health, Agility (Keep the connective tissue healthy to keep mobile, agile and pain free) Unhealthy myofascia is often misdiagnosed as arthritis)

Exercise Tool #19

Team Fit

Physical and Eye-Hand Coordination, Muscle Memory, Cognitive Function (Memory/Recall/Strategic Thinking) (As we do less our muscles weaken and we can no longer do things that we used to. Do movement that stops the decline of muscle mass)

Exercise Tool #20

Get Down, Get Up!

Cardiovascular Conditioning, Spinal Health and Flexibility, Bone Density. Fall Prevention (Sit in a chair to get your body moving to increase your heart rate – all good, healthy movement)

Exercise Tool #21

Dance Party!

Emotional Expression, Memory/Recall, Cardiovascular Conditioning (Important to express our emotions)

Ageless Grace addresses all five functions of the brain.

Anti-Ageing Benefits of Ageless Grace

Each of the Ageless Grace Tools emphasizes a different anti-ageing technique, such as joint mobility, spinal flexibility, right-left brain coordination, kinesthetic learning, cognitive function, systemic health, balance, self-esteem, confidence and playfulness The easy-to-learn Tools promote the “three Rs” of lifelong comfort and ease—not reading, ´riting and ´arithmetic—but the ability to respond, react and recover efficiently and safely.

Intentionally nourishing the mind-body connection on a daily basis can help improve health and well-being, reduce stress, keep the brain agile and the body responsive. When body, mind, spirit and emotions are in balance, health and well-being follow. Ageless Grace offers something for each of these dimensions.

For the mind, there are right- and left-brain movement activities, numbering sequences of physical movements in patterns that play games with the mind; and there are mind-body directives that encourage the brain to consciously choose and direct the movement of the body in either a random or specific sequence.

It’s never too late to begin Ageless Grace, and it’s never too early to start!

For the emotions, there are sounds, words, expressions and “pretend” emotions that are used to inspire, stimulate, and release endorphins, while simultaneously allowing the body to release tension and tightness.

For the spirit, the movements incorporate imagery, creativity, variety, playfulness, polarities, sound and games, all performed to a wide range of music that encourages self-expression, nourishing the authentic self.

And finally, for the body, particular attention is paid to: range of motion and optimal function of the 13 major joints of the body; the 20 digits; the relationship of all the parts of the body to the whole; the redevelopment of the ability to move from the floor to standing and back again; the use of sensations such as flexibility, agility, mobility, stability and strength to restore and rejuvenate the body; the mind-body connection; the brain as stimulus for the central nervous system; and improvement of both cognitive and motor function, including balance.

What Can We Do To Maintain And Improve Our Physical And Brain Health?

We can practice Ageless Grace Neuroplasticity Exercises Almost Anyone Can Do for only 10 minutes a day for ongoing neuroplasticity.

Ageless Grace is based on the cutting-edge science of neuroplasticity.   The brain’s ability to reorganise itself by forming new neural connections throughout life.  Neuroplasticity allows the neurons (nerve cells) in the brain to compensate for injury and disease and to adjust their activities in response to new situations or to changes in their environment.   It works by growing new nerve endings that can connect with other undamaged nerve cells, forming new neural pathways.  There are many different ways people try to keep their brains and bodies as young as possible.  Brain games, exercise routines and more are aggressively marketed ways to keep our brains and bodies strong.   To improve our brain function, we need to combine physical movement with the brain in meaningful ways.

Ageless Grace aims to activate all five functions of the brain called S-M-A-C-K which is strategic planning, memory and recall, analytical thinking, creativity and imagination, kinaesthetic learning.

The 21 exercise tools are simple, organic and designed to be performed seated in a chair, next to a chair, or behind a chair to activate and work the core muscle group. These simple movements can be done by all, regardless of physical ability and are highly beneficial to the stimulation of systems such as, the digestive, endocrine, lymphatic, respiratory and toward the optimal functioning of all organs. Along with the bodily benefits the easy-to-perform movements promote the three Rs of lifelong comfort and ease, which is the ability to respond, react and recover efficiently and safely

Ageless Grace Neuroplasticity exercises, is the only exercise programme that exercises the body and stimulates the brain, and with the use of music, the programme provides a therapeutic remedy to reduce pain, improve memory and cognition, and assist with motor functioning.  Music, as proven by clinical case studies, has the potential in very specific ways to affect human neurological, and psychological and physical functioning in areas such as learning, processing language, expressing emotion, memory and physiological and motor responses.

Each of the tools also focus on a primary physical skill necessary for lifelong optimal function ( such as joint mobility, balance, spinal flexibility, right-left brain coordination, upper body strength, dexterity of feet and hands, systemic health, oxygenation of the cells, increased self-esteem, confidence and playfulness, etc).

Did you know that exercise programmes only started about 70 or so years ago? After WWII as our culture became more focused on commerce rather than agriculture, exercise classes began springing up; they imitated military boot camp training whose goal was to increase endurance and stamina quickly. “No pain, no gain” was and continues to be the mantra for many exercise programmes. Well-intentioned people of all ages sign up for exercise classes, but many eventually drop out because of 3 reasons: Boredom with the routine, Time and Expense

With Ageless Grace, there is no boredom because each tool changes every time you use it (which stimulates the Creativity and Imagination function of the brain).

There are 32 muscles and 26 bones in each foot – as well as 7000 nerve endings! There are 34 muscles, at least 123 ligaments, and 29 bones in each hand. Most people in elder care facilities are there because they can’t use their feet or hands effectively for activities of daily living. After participating in Ageless Grace classes at her elder care facility, an 87-year-old lady said to her Instructor, “For the first time in years, I felt my feet!” Imagine the excitement of that!

Ageless Grace works by re-opening the neural pathways that were created from the time you were born until about the age of 21. You developed functional and cognitive skills through typical childhood games, sports, and activities that are now no longer practiced as adults. The 21 tools of Ageless Grace re-open these pathways and – equally important – create new ones by practicing functional movements we don’t already know how to do.

Practicing, remembering and learning these simple skills allow positive results to come surprisingly quickly – much like remembering how to ride a bicycle after many years. These aspects of movement combine as the process of neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain and nervous system to change structurally and functionally) and are vital to active ageing and youthful function. All you need to do is practice Ageless Grace for 10 minutes daily.

All ages and abilities can practice Ageless Grace. Instructors never encourage anyone to try to extend beyond their own comfort level. Senior citizens, Baby boomers, young adults, and those with weight, joint, diabetes and other health challenges such as Parkinson’s Disease, Dementia, Alzheimers, MS, those in wheelchairs or other conditions can all benefit from these 21 tools.

Chair Exercises
Why is Ageless Grace performed in a chair?

One of the most common questions we’re asked is why Ageless Grace is performed in a chair.

Shouldn’t exercise be performed standing up?

Not necessarily.

Exercise Tools are done to up-tempo music

The Benefits of Chair Exercises

Challenge Your Brain

If someone asked you to play baseball, or do yoga, or perform a breast stroke while seated, chances are you would have to think about how to move your body to make this happen. When you have to figure out how to move your body in a new and different way you are engaging your brain.

Core Strength

It is often easy to ‘cheat’ when standing up and performing an exercise. You can avoid using the parts of your body that aren’t strong by using muscles that are strong – but when you sit in a chair you must use your core muscles. A stronger core makes for a stronger and happier body!

Almost anyone can exercise in a chair

It really levels the playing field. Twisted your ankle? Just had surgery? Do you have limited mobility? Does regular exercise (standing up) make you dizzy? Just sit down and perform the same motions in a chair!

THE BRAIN, THE BODY
– NEUROPLASTICITY AND EXERCISE

Denise Medved, Creator and Founder of Ageless Grace on The Science of Neuroplasticity and the 21 Simple Tools for Lifelong Comfort and Ease™

A few of the hundreds of articles on brain fitness, neuroplasticity, ageing and exercise:

  1. Neuroplasticity – Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia – A Definition
    Jump to Fitness and exercise: In a 2009 study, scientists made two groups of mice swim a water maze. “Our results support the notion that different forms of [physical] exercise induce neuroplasticity changes in different brain regions,” Chauying J. Jen, a professor of physiology and an author of the study, said.
  2. Physical exercise: why aerobic exercise enhances neurogenesis…
    by Alvaro Fernandez
    Through increased blood flow to the brain, physical exercise triggers biochemical changes that spur neuroplasticity – the production of new connections between neurons and even of neurons themselves. Brain exercise then protects these fledgling neurons by bathing them in a nerve growth factor and forming functional connections with neighboring neurons. Dr. Gage’s work of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, have shown that exercise helps generate new brain cells, even in the ageing brain.
  3. Exercise is Medicine – Neuroplasticity
    Brain imaging shows and increase in brain activity over the motor cortex after a single 15 to 30 minute practice session…
  4. Neuroplasticity and Exercise – Steve Pavlina
    Health & Fitness – Jan 17, 2010
    The Brain That Changes Itself, by Norman Doidge, M.D. It’s about the science of neuroplasticity and the discovery that the brain can grow new neural pathways and rewire damaged areas to other parts of the brain. There is amazing application of this science to visualisation and exercise. The author mentions a study where men are asked to visualise doing bicep curls for 10 minutes a day for several weeks. They don’t do any physical weight lifting at all. At the end of the study, all of the men had increased bicep size — from visualisation alone.
  5. Neuroplasticity – How Exercising the Brain Helps it to Grow and Repair
    How Exercising the Brain Helps it to Grow and Repair … Neuroplasticity is advocating that the brain is capable of change even after childhood. Studies have shown that learning to tango, juggle, do crosswords and other challenging
    new activities can use the brains natural plasticity to make positive changes. Physical exercise done regularly can also delay dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
  6. Brain Awareness Week: 15 Amazing Examples of Neuroplasticity in Action
    Mar 18, 2010 – Physical exercise promotes creation of new neurons in the brain. Norman Doidge in his book “The Brain that Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science” talks about a paradox of change. The forces that enable us to change are also responsible for keeping us stuck. If we keep doing the same, we may think nothing changes, but in fact, the more we repeat a certain behavior, the stronger the corresponding pathway in the brain grows, making it more difficult to unlearn the pattern. The good news is that the same principle applies when we learn a new skill or habit. The more attention we pay to it and the more we practice it, the easier it will become.
    EXAMPLE: London taxi drivers have a larger hippocampus compared to bus drivers. It’s because this region of the hippocampus is specialised in acquiring and using complex spatial information in order to navigate efficiently. Taxi drivers have to navigate around London whereas bus drivers follow a limited set of routes.
  7. How to Rewire the Brain with Neuroplasticity

    Oct 14, 2012 Brain imaging studies show that every time we learn a new task, we’re changing our brain More by Daniel Honan Exercising Smart: Neuroplasticity (Part 3 of 5)
  8. Exercising 10 minutes a day can boost life expectancy – CBCNews.
  9. Super Brain by Deepak Chopra, M.D. and Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D

Body, Mind and Spiritual Fitness and Upliftment.

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