This blog has been transferred from the Ageless Grace website (www.agelessgrace.com) It was too good not to transfer it as Christine’s story is true for many of us. When you click on ‘Continue reading’ you will be taken to the original post.

Usually, I am very skeptical, critical, and dismissive of everything; my approval of Ageless Grace is praise indeed! At last, exercise that is fun and effective!

I have benefited enormously from Ageless Grace in the past year. I have a rare form of ataxia which prevents messages getting from my brain to my muscles, affecting my balance, coordination, and speech. Although there is no cure for this progressive condition, my gradual deterioration is slowed by repeated use of existing abilities and learning of new pathways. Ageless Grace is ideal for me because it exercises both body and brain. I think it would be helpful for most neurological conditions. I rarely consciously think about it (we are much too busy having fun!) but I think Ageless Grace has made me aware of my mind-body connection. I have been able to identify those specific bits of my brain that no longer work so well and discovered this need not affect my wider functioning.

In particular I think Ageless Grace has increased my confidence, perseverance, and motivation with my mobility. When I started attending weekly sessions I came in my wheelchair, but now I can manage with just a rollator walking frame! I am also more confident moving around my home and garden. I am more aware of factors such as anxiety affecting my performance and the benefits of repeated practice.

During the last few years I have been treated by several physiotherapy teams (at the spinal unit, the neurological rehabilitation unit, by the mobility team, the respiratory service, etc.) Ageless Grace seems to simultaneously incorporate all the movements and exercises used by all these physiotherapists for various conditions – but it’s much more fun!

All physiotherapists stress the importance of continuing doing the exercises long-term after the treatment sessions. Like many others, I start with good intentions but quickly get bored and lose motivation to do the exercises alone at home. Ageless Grace encourages me to continue. Regular exercise no longer feels like a chore. Physiotherapists are pleased with my progress.

Each Ageless Grace session contains just the right balance of repetition and variety. We look forward to the familiarity and novelty. It reinforces and stretches.

Ageless Grace is great fun because it is all done to a wide variety of familiar music, often ‘golden oldies’. The pace and rhythm of the music stimulates. The duration of each song encourages perseverance. It is like reminiscence-therapy for the body as well as the mind!

One great advantage of Ageless Grace is that it requires no special environment, equipment or clothes. It can be practiced anytime and anywhere. I find myself spontaneously doing the movements wherever there is music playing – in the kitchen, while watching TV, in shops, etc.

I have tried out several exercise regimes, including various seated groups. Ageless Grace is the only thing I have stuck at. This is probably because the Ageless Grace movements are specifically designed to be done seated and don’t feel like second-best or compromise. I enjoy doing something which is independent of ability or fitness. I usually feel an incompetent failure but in this group, I feel good!

I particularly value Ageless Grace because it includes exercising muscles and parts, such as the face and fingers, which are often neglected in other regimes. It is simultaneously simple and comprehensive.

I find Ageless Grace enlivening and invigorating. I always feel more alert and inspired to do other things after each session. I am surprised that it isn’t used more in schools and colleges. I am sure a few minutes of Ageless Grace at the start of each session would be more beneficial than a weekly P.E. class. It makes me feel more capable, independent and motivated to do things instead of relying on others. Perhaps it should be introduced in all institutional settings to prevent people becoming passive and dependent.

I do not always hear too well, especially in a group, so I may have difficulty following verbal instructions. I enjoy Ageless Grace because it is entirely based on imitation and completely non-verbal. There are no instructions to remember, nothing to hear or get wrong! It occurs to me that it is probably suitable for use with people who have limited English, and acceptable to all cultures because it does not involve any undressing, physical contact, etc.

Christine Drew

Sept 2017

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