BRAIN FITNESS

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“Don’t count the days, make the days count!”

-Muhammed Ali

Like many of you, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to improve my fitness. Last year’s frequent personal travel to Europe was not conducive to keeping fit or going to the gym, so this year is going to to be different! Right?! Well, I resigned with my friend and personal trainer John Duberley of TruFit over at the Power House Gym and he assures me that I can recover my fitness and take off the er……few pounds that I put on last year. If a US Navy Veteran tells you this, it is wise to listen up!

Now John is a pragmatic optimist and believes in more than physical fitness. He is insistent that my exercise must be supplemented by a controlled and consistent nutritious diet. He told me in no uncertain words that it was the key to good physical and mental health.  So it was appropriate for me to tell him about Memory Matters first 20th Anniversary event of 2017, namely the Memory Fest on January 12th at the Hilton Head Beach and Tennis Club. At once his ears pricked up and he questioned me closely on what we hoped to achieve. He became so interested that both he and his girlfriend (another Personal Trainer) actually gave up a whole day to come and listen to the presentation by Cathee, Melissa and Karen.  They also brought two enthusiastic fitness guests.

They were not disappointed, and spent three hours in our company and that of at least 150 more folk who joined us for the presentation.

As John put it to me, people will spend much time and money on physical fitness and nutrition but will they spend an equal amount of time on Brain Health? The answer is usually “no”. He understands why it is so important to keep that “squiggy” little 3lbs of muscle in top form.

The Fest drew from Memory Matters Brain Booster program that I have mentioned before and personally attended together with my wife Barbara. Brain Boosters runs for ten weeks, just a couple of hours a week crammed full of surprises that will get your brains attention in more ways than one. At $199 for the complete program its a steal.

On Thursday we learned the outline:

  • How our brain learns and remembers
  • How emotions impact your brain and memory
  • How automatic negative thoughts (ANTS) can be controlled to improve brain function.

If you have not signed up for the next Brain Boosters program commencing on January 26th, now is the time to do so. It runs from 10.30am to 12 noon one day per week for ten weeks. Just like keeping physically fit and eating well this program applies at any age.

***

Prior to joining Memory Fest in the afternoon I was engaged in my usual volunteer role with the Connections Club at Memory Matters. There the Club Members, with either early diagnosis of dementia or mild cognitive impairment, get to stretch and stimulate their brains in a failure free environment.

Now reflecting back on the Memory Fest topics, I do not recall anyone of our Club Members expressing negative thoughts! Rather they were happy to be socializing, learning, and trying to remember their friends names by association or imagery and, they were endeavoring to set New Year memory resolutions for themselves. Some Club Members wrote down four or more resolutions but we challenged them to each remember just one and to pursue it through the whole of 2017. Every week we will return to the resolutions to follow up.  No-one person chose anything too stretching or impossible. Some people chose to read a particular type of book or story, others to listen to a new piece of music or complete a crossword puzzle. Perhaps they want to explore some new place to vacation in. The point was that we were searching for them to a) challenge themselves and b) if possible, seek to do something new.

I always like to play a little music whenever I volunteer and on Thursday I encouraged a new Club member to join me in singing a song with the other Club members. He said he didn’t sing……………but you know he did! It was really gratifying to see the pleasure on his face when he achieved something he thought impossible.

If you believe that the content of this post will help someone please pass it on. If you know of someone who needs confidential help just ask them too call us at 1 843 842 6688. The number is on the front page of our website http://www.memory-matters.org.

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