It seemed too good to be true.
A set of exercises that, if practiced just 10 minutes a day, could make a positive difference in the quality of our body and brain. Activities that can be done by almost anyone, just sitting in a chair. And once learned, they are easy enough to do on our own.
Ageless Grace is a fitness and wellness program consisting of “21 simple tools for lifelong comfort and ease,” designed for all ages and all abilities. The program is based on the science of neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to build new synaptic connections, especially in response to learning or experience.
It’s also based on ensuring that all the vital parts of our body, those that help us to function efficiently in our daily activities, are exercised.
Lastly, and especially for seniors, the program is intended to help participants develop the agility and cognitive function needed to react, respond and recover from situations they didn’t anticipate.
Recently I participated in a certification course for Ageless Grace.
At Senior Concerns, we already offer daily chair exercises to our Adult Day program participants, but while our staff is creative and entertaining, Ageless Grace seemed to offer a new paradigm supported by scientific research.
We decided to take the class and obtain the certification to teach the program at our center.
So let me share what I was surprised to learn.
It’s possible to have your body and mind energized in just 10 minutes. The 10 minutes flew by when we performed three of these “tools” to music, and you could feel the energy when you were done.
I had no idea there were exercises I could do to train my brain and body to react, respond and recover.
For example, we did exercises where the trainer “surprised” us with a new move that we did not anticipate. Our bodies and minds had to react quickly. Sometimes we were successful. Other times we were not, but just the act of trying was engaging our brains.
I discovered that there were parts of my body necessary for successful aging that I had not paid attention to in years. Exercising my feet and ankles to help improve my balance. Exercising my hands in certain ways to ensure my joints stay flexible. Even deep breathing to oxygenate my cells.
Upon arriving home after my first of two eight-hour days, I told my husband that I’d used muscles in my body that I never knew I had, and all while sitting in a chair. We’d done hours of exercises in the training class, when optimally we should only practice for 10 minutes a day, so of course I was sore.
But I was also energized and motivated to add this into my daily routine. Even after the first day of practice, I could tell I was doing something good for my mind and body.
While we became certified so that we could use these tools in our Adult Day program, Patty Hamm, Conejo Recreation and Park District supervisor, was also becoming trained to offer this to our community at the Goebel Adult Community Center.
Later this fall, she will offer some free classes to those who are interested. Stay tuned for announcements about Ageless Grace in the Goebel Gazette or on the Goebel Adult Community Center website.
To learn more about Ageless Grace, go to agelessgrace.com/denise-medved and click on th