neuroplasticity and Age UK

By: Ali Allen

After years of drifting from one office job to another, always thinking I wasn’t fully fulfilled, 10 years ago I started working for Age UK after my second child was born. (Age UK is the United Kingdom’s largest charity dedicated to helping everyone make the most of later life.) Even though it started as a nice little office job while my children were still young, after 2 years I applied for a position within the company that I believe led me to where I am today. The main purpose of the role was to encourage, support, and motivate people over 50 to lead a more healthy and active lifestyle. I have always been an active person so to me this was a role that came very natural, as I believe being active is the best medicine for a better life, not just physically, but mentally and socially as well.

I threw myself into this role, coordinating 3 projects and undertaking several training courses along the way including Fitness Instructor, Chair Based Exercise Instructor through Falls Prevention, and a 2 week intensive training in neurolinguistic programming. These years of experience and training have brought me to where I am today. A hobby turned into a career. What could be better!

My career went on another course the day I trained as an Ageless Grace Educator. Less than 24 hours after I’d taken the Certification the big moment came when I delivered Ageless Grace instead of my regular chair-based class to my Age UK Group. After the class I asked them which one they preferred. Two years later and I am still delivering Ageless Grace to this group and they love it!

Here are some quotes from the group.

  • Best 45 minutes of my week.
  • Whatever your mobility, you can join in with Ageless Grace and sing along to the great music. A fun teacher!
  • A really fun class, no pressure, just did what I could and laughed the whole way through.
  • Have a laugh with exercise. You won’t believe you can have so much fun. Fridays are the highlight of my week. A great, fun, social workout for everyone.

An unfortunate situation arose due to lack of funding for the projects at Age UK and I made the big decision to take redundancy and go it alone delivering Ageless Grace. My Friday group wanted me to carry on despite the fact the Age UK would no longer be paying for the class. They would pay me themselves, which was heartwarming and really gave me the confidence to take on this new venture and take Ageless Grace out there to other groups and Communities.

This is where I am now. I have regular weekly classes with Care Homes, Community groups and one to ones. I finally feel really fulfilled in my new career. I am now a trainer and really looking forward to introducing more people to Ageless Grace so they can go and share it with their groups, families and friends.

People often think that Ageless Grace is just another chair-based exercise class, but it is so much more. Yes Ageless Grace is practiced in a chair, but not because it’s for the older generation or the unfit! It’s practiced in a chair to work the core and the heart muscle. Ageless Grace is accessible to all ages and abilities. I just change the music and impact depending on the group.

Ageless Grace is so very versatile. The great beauty for me is there are many ways to do Ageless Grace. I’ve been to many aerobics classes, gym sessions, etc. and they are all the same; I just get bored. No chance with Ageless Grace! I haven’t delivered the same class in the 400+ classes I have done. They are all different and even I don’t know what I’m going to do. It’s so creative! I know the tools I’m going to use and the music, but the movements all come naturally throughout the class. This keeps it fresh for me as well as for the my students.

As if this isn’t enough, Ageless Grace has so much more to offer.

The Science of Neuroplasticity

I’m not going to bombard you with technical jargon; neuroplasticity simply means that we are working the body and the brain at the same time. Ageless Grace harnesses the science of neuroplasticity by:

  • Opening old neural pathways
  • Practicing movements that we used to do but don’t practice anymore
  • Creating new pathways which allows us to do more things with our bodies and brains
  • Helping us to stay as youthfully functional for as long as possible

In a nutshell, Ageless Grace is a fun, simple program that is restorative and preventative for adults and developmental for kids. I implore everyone to try Ageless Grace as least once. I can talk about it for ages but just 10 -15 minutes in a class and you will see why I and the many other Ageless Grace Educators all over the world are so passionate and enthusiastic about Ageless Grace.

*** A special note: Ali and Nicola Steen recently did a certification in Holland. There are now 11 new educators in Holland ready to teach Ageless Grace!