Spring Reboot Challenge: 3-Weeks of Brain-Boosting Activities
Shake off the winter blues with the 3-Week Spring Reboot Challenge. Discover lifestyle choices you can make daily to keep your brain healthy and your focus strong. In this challenge, we will be covering topics like sleep health, fitness, and nutrition that play a role in your brain health. Check out all the details below!
How it works:
- Make sure you’re signed up for the challenge here
- Download the Spring Reboot Challenge Activity Tracker so you can easily keep track of your progress (the goal is to complete at least one activity each day during the challenge).
- At the end of the challenge complete this short survey by 4/3 to be entered to win one of the below prizes
- Use the recommended brands below or any of your favorites!
Enter to Win Prizes:
We will pick 3 winners that complete the challenge AND follow the instructions on our Instagram post to win one of the prizes below!
- Spiritune 6-Month Subscription
- Melissa Wood Health 1-Year Membership
- Thorne – 1 Free Brain Boosting supplement of your choice (learn more about the supplements here)
Week 1 – Sleep Health:
Getting a good night’s sleep not only makes you feel more alert and energetic but can have long-term effects on your health. Not getting enough sleep impairs your ability to multi-task and think in creative ways and affects memory and attention.
Sleep Health Activities to Try:
Listen to a bedtime story or try sleep sounds with Aura: Bedtime stories on apps are usually slow-paced and uneventful, and the narrators are chosen for their softly spoken and non-jarring tones. It’s similar to white noise or the sound of rainfall in the background.
Turn off the TV and bright lights 1 hour before bed: TVs and other devices that produce blue light can reduce the amount of melatonin your body makes. This can make it hard for your brain to know whether it’s night or day, so take a break from electronics and unwind with a book or another calming nightly ritual.
Try a stretch session or sound bath for sleep with alo moves: Stretching can improve blood flow and relieve muscle tension — both of which aid in muscle recovery and sleep quality. The more you can get your body to relax before sleep, the more effective your sleep will be. A sound bath may help if you have difficulty getting a good night’s sleep because the brainwaves go into a state of alpha relaxation, which makes you likely to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep for the entire night.
Take a hot bath 90 minutes before bed: Truth: a study found that taking a hot bath about 90 minutes before bed could help people fall asleep more quickly. The hot water actually helps change your body’s core temperature so that you go to bed at a lower temperature. A drop in temperature helps signal to the body that it’s time for bed.
Try a sleep meditation with InsightTimer: By targeting both anxious thoughts and physical stress symptoms, sleep meditations aim to bring about overall relaxation that helps prepare the body for sleep.
Try a natural sleep supplement (check out Proper, The Nue Co, or ASYSTEM): Natural sleep supplements can encourage relaxation, ease anxiety, and promote sleep. Natural sleep aids are great because they are non-habit forming!
Stop drinking caffeine by 2PM: Caffeine consumption can make you fall asleep later, sleep fewer hours overall, and make your sleep feel less satisfying. Caffeine has a half-life of anywhere between 2 and 12 hours. Half-life refers to the amount of time it takes for your body to metabolize and eliminate half the dose you consumed, so keep that in mind while reaching for that cup of coffee!
Get 15-mins of sunlight first thing in the morning: Studies show that getting sunlight in the morning increases your melatonin levels at night and improves your circadian rhythm.
Avoid drinking alcohol: Alcohol may help you get to sleep but it causes interruptions in your sleep and gives you poor-quality sleep.
Set the temperature between 60 – 67 degrees: Our bodies are programmed to experience a slight dip in core temperature in the evening. Turning the thermostat down at night may help with temperature regulation and signal your body that it’s time for bed.
Week 2 – Fitness:
Did you know people who exercise regularly have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease? Exercise improves blood flow and memory; it stimulates chemical changes in the brain that enhance learning, mood, and thinking. Don’t overcomplicate it, just get moving!
Fitness Activities to Try:
Try a pilates/yoga blend class with MWH: According to a study conducted at the University of Oxford, learning new things (like a new fitness style) is directly correlated with brain health because it helps increase the density of white matter in the brain.
Take a 30-minute walk on your lunch break: Walking is great for your brain. In fact, a recent study that looked at walking to improve brain health found that subjects who walked more than 4,000 steps per day had healthier brain tissue in the areas of the brain responsible for memory, as well as better cognitive function, than those who walked fewer than 4,000 steps per day.
Do any type of aerobic exercise (try Barry’s): Regular aerobic exercise boosts blood flow to your brain and also boosts the size of your hippocampus, the part of your brain that’s involved in verbal memory and learning. A 2017 study published in The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences found an association between low physical activity and dementia risk. The researchers also did MRI scans of about 2,000 people 60 or older and found that the more active they were, the larger their hippocampus. Best of all? The protective effects were highest in those over age 75, offering more evidence that it’s never too late to start!
Incorporate weightlifting (check out Future for extra guidance): In a 2017 study, participants with mild cognitive impairment adhered to a resistance training program for 6 months. Results showed improvements in whole-body muscle strength and aerobic capacity in all participants. Participants also experienced a significant improvement in cognitive functioning.
Try a pilates class (check out solidcore): Pilates is known as a strength and flexibility workout, but not everyone realizes the important mental health benefits. Pilates can boost mood, improve emotional control and even build up the functioning of the nervous system.
Do a yoga flow (check out ClassPass): According to a 2019 study published in the journal Brain Plasticity, yoga can enhance your brain function and positively affect the structure of your brain. You can achieve these brain-boosting benefits by practicing yoga one to two times per week.
Do a Barre workout (try out Physique 57): Barre is a great workout for your body and your brain. Coordinating the movements, remembering the different sequences and flows, responding to technique cues, and motivating you to hold the position through the burn require mental focus.
Switch things up with Dance Cardio with 305 Fitness: Did you know regular dancing can reduce the risk of dementia? A landmark New England Journal of Medicine study followed seniors for more than 20 years and found that regular dancing reduced the risk of dementia by 76 percent — twice as much as reading.
Try indoor or outdoor cycling (check out SoulCycle): Want to know the secret to living a longer life? According to Medical News Today, cycling helps your brain become more efficient by building neurons and growing the hippocampus, which increases your chances for a longer lifespan. Your brain is like a muscle — if you don’t use it, you lose it!
Take the stairs or park further away when you’re out and about: A new study suggests that even a moderate uptake of physical activity, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, can counter volume loss in key brain regions. Small lifestyle changes can have a big impact!
Week 3 – Nutrition:
Did you know the brain is the most metabolically active organ in the body? Although the brain only makes up about 2% of the body’s weight, it uses 20% of the energy when the body is at rest! As energy comes from the foods we eat, good nutrition can support brain health.
Eat a Mediterranean-style meal (try Green Chef or Sun Basket): Research shows eating a Mediterranean diet offers a protective effect on brain health and is correlated with a decreased rate of cognitive decline and a lower risk of cognitive impairment. Stock up on salmon, olive oil, nuts, and fruits and veggies!
Load your plate with fruit, especially berries: Each type of berry packs a different array of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients. A study of 16,000 women aged 70 and older, published in the Annals of Neurology, showed that eating at least one serving of blueberries or two servings of strawberries each week delayed cognitive aging by 2.5 years.
Eat breakfast to fuel your brain (try out Kroma’s smoothies or super porridge): Studies have shown that when people eat breakfast, things like concentration, memory, and energy all improve, making them more alert as well.
Eat your leafy greens (check out Hungryroot or Plantable): Just 1 serving a day can delay cognitive decline!
Add brain-boosting supplements (check out Thorne):
Snack on nuts for Omega 3s to help you stay sharp: Eating nuts is linked to better cognitive function, reduced risk of depression, better mood, and enhanced memory, learning, and attention capacity. Nuts contain fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which have essential roles in many aspects of brain health.
Grab a cup of coffee or tea (Before 2PM of course!): Coffee and tea may do more than just wake you up—they could also help keep your brain healthy, according to studies. Researchers have linked these beverages with protection from depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.
Enjoy some dark chocolate for better focus & memory: Compounds in dark chocolate boost memory, attention span, reaction time, and problem-solving skills by increasing blood flow to the brain.
Drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces: Just 2% dehydration affects your attention, memory, and cognitive skills.
Spice up your life with turmeric, cinnamon & ginger: Along with adding flavor to your meals, spices have a superpower: they’re packed with antioxidants that can help improve brain function, decrease inflammation, and rev up your metabolism.
We hope you enjoy this challenge and pick up new daily rituals and practices to add to your wellness journey while keeping your brain healthy!