Denise Medved is the creator of Ageless Grace®, a brain-body fitness program enjoyed by the residents at Prestige.
The program came about after Denise observed her parents and their different ways of aging, as well as the challenges she faced with her own diagnosis of spina bifida early in life. She began to wonder if there was a way to keep both the body and the brain healthy as we get older, eventually leading to her creation of Ageless Grace®, a cutting-edge brain fitness program based on neuroplasticity that activates all five functions of the brain.
Denise will be leading a free webinar series throughout January where she will discuss the research and origin behind Ageless Grace® and the 21 tools used in the program, and how Ageless Grace® helps improves neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to change and reorganize itself.
In this interview she discusses the benefits of Ageless Grace®, the research behind the program, the benefits and what people can expect from the webinars.
Let’s start from the beginning – for those who have never heard of Ageless Grace®, can you describe what it is and why it’s important?
Denise Medved: “Ageless Grace® is a brain health fitness program. People think of fitness as being true exercise or perspiring or using weights or those kinds of things. It’s none of that. It is specifically to activate the five primary functions of the brain, which are strategic planning, memory and recall, analytical thinking, creativity and imagination and kinesthetic learning.
And those are just big names that really ultimately boil down to the fact that scientists have determined that the brain’s primary purpose for even being in the body is to control movement of the body. Not everyone may know that word games, crossword puzzles and taking courses does not delay cognitive decline. And the reason is that each of those things only activates one or two, maybe three, if you’re lucky, of those functions that I just listed of the brain.”
So why is it so vital to activate all five functions at the same time?
DM: “I like to compare it to brushing the teeth. If you only brush the front teeth over and over and over again you’re going have these beautiful front teeth and you’re going to have all kinds of issues and problems with the rest of your teeth.
So if you only work and exercise one or two functions of the brain over and over, then the entire brain is going to go into cognitive decline because it has not all been stimulated and exercised and worked out. Each of the 21 Ageless Grace® tools activates all five primary functions of the brain that I just listed. However, each of those also has a physical focus that we’re paying attention to as we’re doing it.”
How does Ageless Grace® help with brain function?
DM: “It’s good if you walk on a treadmill or if you play basketball; any physical exercise is good for the brain. However, it’s not activating the firing of new neurons if it’s the thing that you do all the time. So these 21 different exercises, which you can even do three or four a day for 10 minutes or so, that maintain brain function. And if you do it a little more than that, it’ll start to improve brain function and it can actually delay cognitive decline or cause it not to happen at all.”
Ageless Grace® is done seated – why is that?
DM: “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… So you have to position your body in the chair or reach down or reach up or put your legs in front of you to be able to act out that sort of assignment.”
What is an Ageless Grace® class like for the participants?
DM: “It’s done to music and the way we do it, because we want the brain to shift from one thing to another, we want it to stay on one thing long enough that it’s actually firing neurons. And then after it’s been firing neurons for three, four, five minutes, trying to figure out that activity, we stop and go to another song. And now we’re doing something different because we want the brain to be able to move around from thing to thing and involve different parts of the body. And, and we call that in Ageless Grace® the ability to respond, react, and recover; those are the three Rs of Ageless Grace®.”
So what can people expect from the upcoming webinar series?
DM: “You’re going to learn all of the 21 tools. I’m going to give you information each time I do it about each of these exercises… And so in the first session I’ll go through seven of the tools, the next session seven and the next session seven. And you’ll actually have an introduction if you attend all three to how you can practice this at home.
So you will actually see it and learn it with me. But at the same time, once you’ve done it, you’ll start to say, ‘I remember what that’s about’.”