"I love the outdoors, sports and am passionate about a healthy lifestyle. I believe that through healthy eating, being physically active and having a positive outlook on life we can live an enjoyable and rich life, full of adventure. I started my own non-profit health consultancy/promotion service called HealthyU. This service is aimed at motivating people to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and raise awareness of the benefits of physical activity/exercise, healthy eating and mental wellbeing for people in all walks of life, across all age groups. My grandpa was a farmer who led an active lifestyle into his mid-eighties. Unfortunately, his health then declined, he had a below knee amputation and dementia crept into his life over several years. I saw his gradual loss of memory until the point my grandpa didn't know who I was. It was heartbreaking for me and my family to see how he faded away into a shell of himself. I could also see the frustration and sadness in my grandparents' eyes. This experience really hit home for me, revealing the cruelty and sadness which surrounds dementia and how it affects not only the person with dementia but also their family. After seeing a segment on The Project about the CHeBA Fitness Ambassador program I wanted to be a part of it and spread the message of healthy living from a young age to help protect from age-related cognitive disorders."
What does "Healthy Brains. Positive Ageing" mean to me?
Whether we like it or not, we all get older. An essential part of positive ageing is a healthy brain so we can continue to lead an enjoyable and independent life. Getting active is important for the future of Australia. Over 60% of our population are overweight or obese. We also have a population that is ageing with the number of people aged over 80 years set to increase four-fold over the next 50 years. More and more research suggests that many of the risk factors for dementia are lifestyle-related and there is a strong dose-response to exercise. If we take steps from an early age, we can strive toward not just a longer life, but a more enjoyable one. I strongly believe that health is the greatest wealth.
Nirmala is a PhD student at the Centre for Healthy and Safe Sports (CHASS) at the University of Ballarat. Her work sees her involved in the Australian Fitness Industry Risk Management Project (ARC linkage project). More specifically, she is looking into injury risks and safety practices in boot-camps. Nirmala is originally from Sri Lanka and moved to Australia as a teenager. She also lived and worked in Sweden and Finland. She lives a very busy life as a health professional, nutritionist, academic, researcher and sports trainer. Despite this schedule she always manages to build in an hour of physical activity to her day. By being active, she feels happier and more energetic to sustain her high-octane existence. CHeBA supports this attitude and is thrilled to welcome Nirmala to the Fitness Ambassador team!
The CHeBA Champions are Fitness Ambassadors for the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing. These fitness professionals and enthusiasts in their 20s and 30s are championing healthy brain ageing through healthy lifestyles from a young age.