In 2012, I discovered Nia, the sensational fitness program that combines elements of dance, martial arts, and yoga. It was in Nia class that I met Denise Medved, my vivacious, joyful and skilled instructor. She also taught me about neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to change at any age. A couple of years later I took the Ageless Grace classes and training that she created. After sitting at my computer for the last 6 months without the opportunity to go to town for classes (due to the Covid-19 Pandemic), I’ve developed a new appreciation for the simple and fun exercises that she created to stimulate neural connections in my brain and bring more comfort and ease to my body. I can do them to music, right in my home, in about 10 minutes a day!
About Denise Medved
She is the creator and founder of the Ageless Grace Brain Health program and 4EverFit4KIDZ!, These innovative brain fitness programs consist of 21 simple tools or exercises that can be done by almost anyone of any age or ability. The programs are now being taught in 50 states and 29 other countries.
Denise has been featured on national television, in publications such as American Fitness, and delivered a TED talk, “Changing Your Brain Can Be As Simple As Child’s Play” in 2016.
She is a 1st Degree Black Belt Nia Instructor, AFAA Certified Personal Trainer, and an international presenter and speaker.
Our conversation is divided into three parts:
- Learn about neuroplasticity and why Denise created the Ageless Grace program.
- Denise describes five functions of the brain as they are related to her exercises.
- Put your imagination to work as Denise describes “Juicy Joints” and “Spaghetti Spine,” two of the twenty-one tools of Ageless Grace.
What is neuroplasticity?
It’s the ability of your brain and central nervous system to change its form and function.
“When we do anything new or we do something we know how to do differently, in fact, we’re starting to fire neurons. And that is critical to brain health and to changing the brain. . . . The brain and body are having a conversation.”
An acronym to remember key functions of the brain
S – Strategic Planning – planning the steps to do something
M – Memory and Recall – physical memory and recalling what we know
A – Analytical Thinking – analyzing all of the parts of an activity
C – Creativity and Imagination – seeing a picture in your mind’s eye and doing something in a different or new way.
K – Kinesthetic Movement – learning it through the body first
SMACK – the sound of neurons firing together
“They’ve discovered that it’s actually better to 10 or 15 minutes a day of activities that stimulate the brain than it is to do 1 hour on Friday and 1 hour on Tuesday afternoon. . . . My brain and my body are having quick, efficient conversations. . . stimulating my brain health and my body health at the same time.” – Denise Medved