Improving Brain and Body Fitness – While Seated


Ageless Grace® is a brain-body fitness program Prestige’s residents enjoy tremendously. However, it comes with a twist: the entire program is done while seated.

Many people who initially hear that believe the program isn’t for them – they might still be able to fully participate in sports and exercise activities, so a seated program? Too easy for them.

Then they try it and realize that maybe being seated isn’t so easy after all.

Denise Medved, the creator of Ageless Grace®, makes no exceptions when it comes to how the program is performed; after all, being seated is exactly the point: “If you’re seven years old or if you’re a 27-year-old triathlete or an Olympic gold medalist, you do Ageless Grace® seated… The bottom line is that the minute we ask you to do any of these 21 tools or exercises, they are things you would normally do standing or moving. So when we ask you to do that in a chair, almost instantaneously, your brain engages with your body and says, okay, how would I do the breaststroke in a chair? Well obviously my legs are in front of me so it means I’m kind of scooting back from my chair so I can get the arm motion, but it means I have to put my legs up in the air and do the leg motion as well in front of me.”

It’s that change to doing familiar movements seated that fires up the brain’s neurons and helps build neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to change and reorganize itself. By working on that neuroplasticity, it helps maintain and even strengthen the participant’s cognitive health.

It’s why Prestige is such a proponent of the program, because it has the dual effect of building physical and cognitive health – all while seated.

Making Fitness Accessible

Having Ageless Grace® be performed while seated has another benefit: it allows virtually everyone to take part. Whether someone has limitations with mobility, uses a wheelchair full-time or is a memory care resident who struggles with fitness, Ageless Grace® levels the playing field and allows virtually everyone to take part.

At Prestige, we ensure all residents have a full suite of fitness options available to them regardless of ability level, and Ageless Grace® allows anyone to join in and enjoy both the physical and cognitive benefits of the program while working within their means.

Letting Your Inhibitions Go

While some people have trouble early on wrapping their heads around the idea that it’s possible to get in a good workout while seated, there can be another obstacle: self-consciousness.

After all, it’s trying something new, and many people are worried about how they’ll look while taking part. It’s commonplace enough that Elicia Stewart, a Wellness Coach for Prestige Senior Living, often addresses it head-on.

“A lot of times to start an Ageless Grace® classes, I have to explain, I need you to let everything go, let your inhibitions go, we’re going to have fun. This is meant not to necessarily be something that you’re going to be an expert at, because if we were the expert, then the brain already knows what to expect. The whole point of Ageless Grace® is to actually challenge yourself,” she says.

“Every single class is different and it really is a great way to use different senses. You have to visualize, you have to think, and then you’re going to respond,” continues Stewart. “And in a chair, it’s amazing, just in a chair accommodating the different activities that you would do standing creates a challenge that you can meet. And when you do it, it allows your brain to work more efficiently and create just an awesome class.”

Ageless Grace® at Prestige

For more about Ageless Grace® or our other fitness programming, contact the community nearest you to learn more and to schedule a tour.

Our team is ready to provide information about all the fitness programming we offer and how our team helps promote health and longevity through our programming.