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A pink cloud with the text Hello Brain written on it.

Take the Hello Brain challenge

Do one thing every day to help your brain to stay healthy. We call that one thing a ‘Brain Buff’.

The challenge has been created by our brain health expert Professor Sabina Brennan. There are five ‘buff’ categories that have benefits for your brain health:

  • Physical: Physical exercise helps to grow connections in the brain.
  • Social: Just ten minutes of social interaction can increase your brain’s performance.
  • Mental: Increased complex mental activity late in life has been linked to lower dementia risk.
  • Attitude: Stress can impact negatively on brain health. Laughter relieves stress.
  • Lifestyle: Obesity is linked with an increased risk of developing dementia.

There are three ways that you can take the Hello Brain challenge:

  • If you have a smartphone you can download the app
  • If you have a pc or laptop you can use the web version online
  • You can download and print off a paper version. The links to the challenge are also available below.

With the smartphone and web version, you can monitor your progress with the brainbow visualisation and with the paper version you can keep a visual diary.

The buffs are grounded in science that suggests that brain health benefits when you:

  1. Keep physically active
  2. Stay socially engaged
  3. Challenge your brain
  4. Manage stress and think positive
  5. Adapt your lifestyle, for example, maintain a healthy weight

Some sample ‘brain buffs’ include:

  • Go for a walk at lunchtime.
  • Call a friend or a relative for a chat.
  • Memorise the stops on your bus/train journey and try to recall them on the way home.
  • Smile at least five times today, even or especially if you don’t feel like it.
  • Have a sugar-free day.

Remember, learning is like a powerful brain-changing drug.

Share the ‘brain buff’ that you have done today with other learners.

Sabina Brennan is a Research Assistant Professor in Psychology at Trinity College Dublin.

www.hellobrain.eu was funded by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme

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Strategies for Successful Ageing

Trinity College Dublin

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