So, those of you who come here often will know that last week I signed up for yet another challenge.
Those of you who don’t come here often – I can almost hear you rolling your eyes from here.
Urgh! Another challenge? What is it this time?
That’s what you’re thinking right?
But unlike the challenges that you go into full of enthusiasm and then realise on day 6 that you’ve forgotten to do ANYTHING remotely related to the challenge for the last 5.5 days…this is one that we can all sink our teeth into.
It’s fun, and mentally rewarding…and you get to set your own challenges. Moreover, they are so varied, there really is something for everyone. Even better still – you probably do lots of them already in your everyday life without even realising it, so incorporating a few more things isn’t so hard.
I spoke about exactly why I was taking the 21 Day challenge with Your Brain Matters last week on the blog – (I even did a vlog – which you may have guessed I was a little nervous about!)
If you missed it, you can pop over here and get a quick recap on why I’m taking part and why I think it’s such a fantastic initiative.
For those of you who are in the middle of dealing with Mount-Washmore, reading this in your 30 minute work lunchbreak, or feeding bub to sleep, let me outline it in a few short sentences for you to bring you up to speed:
Your Brain Matters is a program that guides you on how to look after your brain health. It is based on scientific evidence that a number of health and lifestyle factors are associated with brain function and the risk of developing dementia.
Being brain healthy is relevant at any age, whether you’re young, old or in between. Importantly, scientific research suggests that living a brain healthy life, particularly during mid-life, may reduce a person’s risk of developing dementia. However, there are no guarantees as dementia cannot yet be prevented or cured.
There are 5 simple steps involved in the program. It is worth noting that are all important for maintaining brain health and are associated with reduced risk of dementia. http://www.yourbrainmatters.org.au/your-brain-matters
Step One – Look after your heart
Step Two – Be physically active
Step Three – Mentally challenge your brain
Step Four – Follow a healthy diet
Step Five – Enjoy social activity
Interested in knowing how you can to lead a ‘brain healthy lifestyle?’
This a short recap on the steps that I have taken myself over the last week.
They probably aren’t all the kinds of things you where expecting, right?
For me, it has been a really valuable challenge. To have in the back of my mind this week, and ask the questions – “Am I living ‘a brain healthy lifestyle?’ Is there a way that I can tweak or change my day-to-day habits to do a little more for my brain health?” has been quite revealing.
I’ve discovered that there really are, so many LITTLE things that I can do daily – that may make a big change overall. Whilst there are no guarantees , as dementia cannot yet be prevented or cured, evidence does show that people can reduce their risk for dementia and other chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer by adopting a healthy lifestyle.
The way I look at it is, it can’t hurt. But it could be of great benefit, and so far, the personal changes I’ve made have had many other great benefits on my stress levels, anxiety, and physical health that it really doesn’t feel like a challenge at all.
And let’s not forget the positive role modeling it has provided my young family.
Are you up for the Challenge?
It is never too late to switch to a healthier lifestyle. You don’t need to start doing expensive new brain-training programs either – although they may be helpful – much of what you need to do to enjoy good brain health are simple things that you can easily do in your everyday life to lower your risk of dementia.
Visit yourbrainmatters.org.au for more information on ways you can start to improve your brain health or to join the 21 day challenge.