#ygkChallenge: Take The Road Less Travelled

brain exercise, mental exercise, memory testWelcome to Kingstonist’s weekly challenge, dare, resolution or whatever you prefer to call it. Each week we establish a new and ambitious community goal, encouraging our readers, followers, friends and families to step out of their comfort zones and do something great, and hopefully a little out of the ordinary. Consider this your official and personal invitation to join us in completing a small but meaningful achievement. By taking part in this community-wide initiative, we hope to make Kingston a slightly better place to live, work and play. And of course, we also hope that you will feel proud of your contribution and achievement.

This week’s challenge encourages you to:

Give your brain a workout. According to the Canadian Alzheimer’s Society, 747,000 Canadians were living with some form of cognitive impairment in 2011. That’s nearly 15% of people aged 65 and over. If you know of someone affected by cognitive impairment then you know how devastating it is to the individual, family, and friends. Although there is a genetic link to some forms of dementia, research shows that there are many healthy habits one can adopt to help prevent or delay the onset. This week, in honour of Alzheimer’s disease awareness month, I challenge you to take the road less travelled. Boost the activity of your brain by changing up your regular habits. Try eating with your non-dominant hand or drive a new way to work. The activity choice is yours so long as it is new, is challenging, and is enjoyable. The saying “if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it” directly applies to cognitive ability. A study published in the Archives of Neurology in 2012 found that those who stayed mentally active, especially in early and middle life, had lower levels of the beta-amyloid protein, which plays a major role in the development of plaques in the brain. The challenge is on: stimulate your brain through new and challenging activities!

Sign up and commit to completing this week’s challenge by commenting below with an “I’m in“, “challenge accepted“, “en garde” or something along those lines. Further, help us spread the word via Twitter and Facebook by using the hashtag: #ygkchallenge. As you work towards completing this week’s task, please feel free to lend others a helping hand by providing tips on how you achieved success.

Thanks to Austin Kleon for today’s photo.

Alanna Kuhn

Alanna Kuhn has retired as a contributor to Kingstonist. She is a Naturopathic Doctor and co-owner of Kingston Natural Route Health. She regularly contributed to Kingstonist's weekly #ygkchallenge, encouraging Kingstonians to explore healthier lifestyle options.

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