About the Ageless Grace Neuroplasticity Exercise Programme
The Ageless Grace Brain & Body Health programme is based on consciously choosing to change the brain through physical movements that fired neurons and developed neural pathways from birth to mid-teens. All 21 Simple Tools for Lifelong Comfort and Ease can be practised by anyone of any age or ability. The exercises are designed to be practised seated in a chair, in order to stimulate the five primary functions of the brain (strategic planning, memory and recall, analytical thinking, creativity and imagination and kinaesthetic learning) by doing unfamiliar movements, or creating new ways to do an activity that is already familiar. The movements are spontaneous and organic, with no need to learn any special choreography. Each of the brain-changing tools also focuses on a primary physical skill necessary for lifelong optimal function (joint mobility, balance, spinal flexibility, upper body strength, coordination) – and all promote the three R’s of Ageless Grace. The ability to Respond, React and Recover.
Any time you learn a new skill that you want to master, you need to practice. And the answer lies with your brain.
When we learn anything new we change our brain – it’s what neuroplasticity is all about. It happens easily in childhood, but it never stops, even as we grow old. If it did, we would do the same things time and time and time again, without learning anything new.
A 2013 study (age-related decrease in physical activity and functional fitness among elderly men and women by Milanovic found that the ageing process reduced physical activity levels in both men and women, due to a reduction in muscle strength in the limbs, changes in body-fat percentage, flexibility, agility, and endurance.
Have you heard people say things like “I thought, when I retired I should just sit down and read a book and relax?” It seems a very common idea that we should take things easy, but in reality that is the opposite of what we need in order to stay functionally fit. We need to ‘Revive our Body’ by keeping our body moving.
My body is stronger, more flexible, can go for longer than many other people my age, which I put down to my regular Ageless Grace ® program which gets every part of my body and brain moving. If you can’t find a class near you, why not come to a Workshop and learn how to do the simple exercises in your own home? You can order the DVDs and sit and move to those. Pretty soon, you could feel as though you’ve got into reviving your body!
The Ageless Grace® exercise tool for balance is used to help you to retain (and often regain) better balance. Balance however can be a complex issue. Any incidence of falling when there is no obvious reason should always be reported to a medical professional.
As well as learning about foot health, flexibility and strength of ankles and hips, Ageless Grace® has us working on three areas of the body that are directly concerned with keeping our balance – whether we are seniors or at any age. The first area is the foot itself.
The first part of the balance exercise for seniors has what your body already knows, working for you. If you stretch up high to reach for something your brain knows just which part of your foot is best to do that. This is your ‘balance point’ and you can reinforce this in a chair by landing the ball of the foot on the floor and saying ‘balance point’. Saying the words at the same time as the foot lands
The second part of this balance exercise is to get the feeling of falling off balance and restoring it. Sounds scary? Well, remember you are in a chair and you are only going to ‘fall’ as far as you are comfortable. The purpose of this part of the exercise is to strengthen the core muscles. You do this by moving around on your chair and coming back to balance. You also have the chair to hang on to if you are worried about overdoing it.
The third part of the balance exercise, and one which many people do not consider, focuses on our inner ear canals. Many people seem to have stopped moving their heads, not just seniors. I love to watch people reading the news on TV and see how many of them just read the news, barely moving their head. When we tell a story to someone else our heads move around as we animate our tale. The animation of the head helps us move the fluid in the inner ear. If we keep our head still for prolonged periods of time the fluid may thicken into a gel and this adds to a lack of balance and a feeling of dizziness when we turn suddenly. Keeping our heads moving can help to prevent gelling of the fluid of the inner ear. So this part of the balance exercise has you deliberately moving your head. Shake your head (as vigorously as you can) and say ‘No!’ Or nod and say ‘Yes’ I want that chocolate. Don’t just do it once, do it lots of times. Keep on doing it for a short while, to the music. When you do the Ageless Grace® balance exercises for seniors in a class, there are lots of imaginative ways you will practice this important function.
The Ageless Grace Programme is Ideal for:
- All Ages & Abilities welcome! Anyone who wants to stay cognitively fit and vibrant through the stimulation of neuroplasticity
- Special populations, including those with physical or mental limitations
- Health and Fitness professionals desiring brain health skills on their resume
- Caregivers working with special populations
- School Teachers – Preschool & Primary School
5 Ways to Learn & Apply Ageless Grace to your Lifestyle
- Public | Private Class – See the various Class options Deborah has on offer, to suit your needs. Each of the brain-changing tools also focus on a primary physical skills for lifelong optimal function.
- 4 Hr Personal Practice Workshop Learn the 21 Ageless Grace Exercise Tools, which you can apply to your lifestyle with ease and comfort in your own living space, practicing for only 10 min a day, on your own, for ongoing neuroplasticity. All ages are welcome!
- 13.5 Hr Professional Ageless Grace Instructor Certification. Teach Ageless Grace Exercises | Become an Instructor | Supplement your Income. Book your seat to get Professionally Certified. No previous experience necessary. Learn to Teach Public Group Classes & Private Classes. Read what Lou Ann van Heerden (Occupational Therapist) has to say about the 13.5 hour Certification Course which she completed in February 2018 .
- 6 Hr Teacher’s Classroom Exercise Certification If you are a School Teacher interested in teaching your Classroom students this brain health exercise programme based on the cutting edge science of Neuroplasticity. Book your seat to Learn the 21 Ageless Grace Exercise Tools to Teach children from ages 4+ to mid-teens in a classroom setting. Any Teacher wanting to use brief “brain breaks” to help their students develop both physical and cognitive skills and grow strong and healthy through stimulation of neuroplasticity, or Teachers working with special populations, including those on the autism spectrum, with ADD or ADHD or with physical or mental limitations. ~ this is the Certification for you!
- 30 minute practical demonstration at your facility for a group of min 10 people
How Ageless Grace Improves Both
Brain & Body Health
The 21 Ageless Grace exercises are designed to address joint mobility, upper body strength, systemic movement, multiskilling, stability in ligaments and joints, flexibility, balance, ability to respond, react and recover, develop more muscle mass or bone density, coordination, personal expression, emotional expression, social interaction and self esteem.
Most often, we assume that we have to train our body and our brain separately, however by working the different functions of the brain whilst exercising we are able to stimulate neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is brain’s ability to reorganise itself by forming new neural connections throughout life.
Neural pathways go from the brain to various parts of the body. By doing something physically, the brain takes notice and creates a pathway. When we stop doing this physical activity the pathway shuts down, however it is still present in the body. The Ageless Grace program helps you to reopen closed pathways and maintain existing ones. For example, by re-enacting an activity such as riding a bike or going swimming, you can reopen the neural pathways created when we were young.
As the body ages, we often assume we can no longer do things, however this is not necessarily the case. If we think that we can’t do something, we stop doing it and therefore lose the ability to do it. However, we still have the neural pathway, and simply need to reopen it. Ageless Grace empowers participants by re-instilling their confidence in their own physical abilities.
Ageless Grace helps Seniors exercise, and it’s also an opportunity to play – to have fun and to make connections. As we age, we tend to shrink inside ourselves. So, if we can reach out, extend the range we move, it helps us have more space for our organs to do their job.
Reaching out is lovely, because it allows us to connect with our neighbours. We sit in a circle, and we can connect and engage with each other.
Learning how to use the Ageless Grace tools is also easy and fun, making it accessible to many people, including in aged care.
If you were asked to ride a bike, for example, most people would be able to do it quite easily. But when you ask them to do it in a chair, they have to think about how their bodies need to move. What was once a normal response becomes something to think about, just as you did when you started to learn how to ride that bike. Besides that, the fact that they’re in a chair means people who would not normally exercise are happy to move and have fun. It makes them feel, particularly as they are getting older, more secure. And yet we provide imagination and stimulations that gets them to move their hips, their spine, their joints and many other body parts.
Certification to teach Ageless Grace
PLAYING IS FUN ! GOOD FOR THE BRAIN
Why do we Stop Playing as we grow Older ?
Ageless Grace® is a quality-of-life and wellness tool that engages people in playful exercises combined with simple movements. It requires concentration and co-ordination – exercising the brain while it exercises the body.
Who is Deborah Nicholls?
Deborah is passionate to prevent dementia in South Africa. We are an ageing population, and with that come many issues – issues such as poor mobility, poor memory, isolation, communication with its lack of social interaction and lack of understanding. There is an urgent need to equip care partners/care givers with effective, practical tools. Our FUNctional fitness programme provides manageable, uncomplicated ways to help not only the elderly, but also their carers. As an Ageless Grace Educator and Trainer, I am passionate about using solutions that work and that can fit into people’s lives, either at work or at home.
“Since becoming an Ageless Grace Instructor, I have been living a more mindful life, I’m physically healthier and joy filled. I love getting up in the morning and doing my quick 10 min of Ageless Grace Exercise Tools ~ which have so easily become a part of my everyday lifestyle. I love teaching Ageless Grace and seeing the incredible positive effects it has in the lives of it’s Participants!
I love working with like-minded team members, the Ageless Grace Instructors, and I am passionate and committed to growing this business with them and being a support wherever I can with the knowledge I have built up over these wonderful years in practice, in and out of the exercise space.
With Ageless Grace I’m Loving Life! and the Revitalized Me!”
Certified Ageless Grace Instructor & Trainer, Neuroscience Academy Graduate
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All South African Ageless Grace Marketing & Training material are the copyright property of Deborah Nicholls and cannot be copied, duplicated or distributed without prior permission from Deborah Nicholls.
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