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Last weeks #HealthyHabits2017 challenge has been in celebration of the time of year when a lot of people start going back to school - the challenge being to learn a new skill. 

Education is great for us in general, it helps us to better understand a lot of the world and improve our outlooks and perspectives. Even as adults we're learning all the time unintentionally, we learn how to cook new things, we learn how to look after people other than ourselves, we are learning every single day. 

The evidence of the benefits of receiving more education while an adult is limited, however there is evidence to say that being in an educational environment can help prevent mental decline as ageing impacts the brain, as well as elevating your self image and reducing symptoms of depression. This TED talk also has some really interesting ideas on how learning more can also help with Alzeheimer's disease. Alzehimers essentially happens because we lose synapses in our brains. However the more you learn, the more synapses you create and strengthen in your brain. The more you learn, the more pathways you're creating for your brain to use when other paths fail. Pretty cool. 

Learning a language is one of the great ways of doing this and is a great mental workout for your mind which keeps it fresh. During the research into the health benefits of learning, I also found a super interesting article on how education leads to happiness and health. One thing that stood out as quite interesting from reading was that while income in important in indicating how fast someones health can decline when they get sick, it's that education actually is the indicator of how likely a person is to get sick in the first place. Learning is pretty much preventative healthcare. 

HOW DID IT GO?

This week was good, while I was busy, I wasn't crazy busy so I had some time to look into some new things. So not only did I learn about the health benefits of learning this week, I also started looking for introductory courses into Nutrition as it's something that's quite interesting to me. I've seen a lot of documentaries over the past few years and it's crazy to think how food effects the body and I really want to understand more about it. My interest started with looking into fixes for bad skin, and my interest in it has grown from there. I only recently learned that by pairing a pulse or legume with a grain you'll make a complete protein for your body, I don't quite know what they do but I can find out. Also learning that you need vitamin D to help your body absorb calcium was relatively new to me too. So in order to understand it all more in depth, I have found and started working through a free online introduction to Nutrition, and I've also found a course at the University of Westminster which you can do online for a year - I can't quite afford it yet but it's definitely on the radar to do when I can.

Each week for healthy habits I always learn something new which is amazing. Hopefully I'm building up those synapses in my brain for when I get older.

For anyone with kids going to school here are some helpful DIY things you can make at home to make term time a little easier. Come back next week for our Healthy Sleep Habits!

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