I'm currently doing my certificate in personal training. It's been quite a challenge I can tell you. I now know why I hated biology at school.\r\nFor more than 20 years I have been working with athletes from all walks of life, assisting them with the mental training for their sport. Then, one day out of the blue, I thought it would be a cool idea to learn about the physical side of things (midlife madness perhaps).\r\nI've been going to the gym since I was a teenager. I honestly thought it would be straightforward and maybe even easy \u2013 well, it's certainly stretching me.\r\nLearning something new, pushes us out of our comfort zone. For a while we are a novice again, which feels weird after being the expert for so long.\r\nI sit in class with some very young potential personal trainers and feel so far out of my depth and, quite honestly, a dunce. I am not used to that.\r\nOn the flip side I am learning so much about physical fitness, efficient exercise and nutrition. So much stuff I never knew. It's wonderfully interesting and, now that I am getting my head slowly around the biology it's beginning to make sense.\r\nI see many people at the gym lifting weights, doing lots of cardio and taking great care of their bodies. Like myself, they are locked under their headphones working hard (don't you get curious about what people are listening to in the gym?).\r\nAs a mental fitness consultant, I find myself wondering about the care they may, or may not, bestow on their brains.\r\nLet's face it, we do not have mental fitness gyms. And if we did, would you go? Would it have the same priority as a physical fitness gym?\r\nOur brains are essential, I think we can agree on that. When it's fit it thinks well and makes clear, concise decisions for us. We need to keep it strong.\r\nIt requires exercise to keep healthy. Yes, puzzles in the newspaper are all well and good, but there are other things it's needs.\r\nIt needs the basics, quality nutrition and plenty of water \u2013 just like your body.\r\nIt needs to dump its worries and calm down, and it needs rest and sleep.\r\nA classic warm up and cool down.\r\nSocial stimulation is great cardio for the brain. Interacting with others creates huge stimulation, firing off millions of neuro-connections in the brain.\r\nIt needs to try new things and be woken up by a challenge. It needs to lift something heavy occasionally.\r\nIt needs variety, because just like your body it adapts and stops focusing attentively. Variety keeps it sharp. Change your routine regularly.\r\nWe talk about mental health, about depression, anxiety, isolation and yet we don't tend to go train our mental fitness three times a week in the same manner we would our bodies.\r\nCan you imagine if we gave mental fitness just as much attention and priority as we do our physical fitness?\r\nHow differently would we be living? How happier might we be? How much more connected?\r\nNow this bit you won't like. Like getting your body fit, you have to take your body to the gym and exercise. No body can take your body and do it for you.\r\nYou may decide to get a personal trainer to help you improve your physical fitness effectively. They become someone you connect with and become accountable too. They help drive you to succeed.\r\nYour mental fitness needs the same kind of attention. Only you can think in your brain, so only you can work to improve its fitness.\r\nYou may need a personal trainer for your brain, to help you run it more effectively and get the most from it. You may also need that person to help you learn new ways to train for mental fitness and have someone you can be accountable too.\r\nThe body is pretty useless without the brain. Let's look after them both.