Healthy Aging Series Season 10 Episode 6

The Dance with Alzheimer’s | Healthy Aging Series: S10 E6

Reflecting on: “Before I Forget: Love, Hope, Help, and Acceptance in Our Fight Against Alzheimer’s,“ by B. Smith, and Don Gasby.  

I spent a week this past year helping my older son move.

I am almost 68, but a rather fit 68. All of us have helped someone move. Four days of grueling, backbreaking work. Everyone helped. Really, it was a wonderful experience.  And I recovered rather well. I had a few more sore tendons in my shoulder. Not bad.

The last evening there, we were eating at a Mexican Restaurant in Woodland Park, relishing our feat. During our conversations, I told my younger son that I had mentioned something to his older brother but referred to his older brother as his father. He looked up at me and asked “who?”
I stopped, not knowing what I had said wrong. There was a brief pause, and then it occurred to me that I was his father. We all laughed. I chalked up the verbal faux pas to four days of near physical exhaustion. Your brain doesn’t work as well when your body is exhausted.

With Alzheimer’s, You Disappear

Misremembering, absentmindedness, forgetting the name of a celebrity, misplacing your keys, or momentarily forgetting which exit to take can be frustrating, but experiencing one or more of these annoyances over the course of a few months is nothing, nothing like full-blown dementia. You don’t just forget where you left your keys; you forget how to use a knife and fork, you forget where you live, you forget every person you know, you forget the trips to the Caribbean; you forget what a car key is and does. You disappear, and sadly, you aren’t aware that you’ve disappeared.

It’s All About the Engine

We’ve been on a journey this season exploring the aging brain. Since the beginning of the season,  I’ve shared about traumatic brain injuries, Crystalized and Fluid Intelligence, how to exercise your brain, how to feed it, and we’ve looked at Captain James T. Kirk. 

Now, I want to share a story about one of the big land mines we all potentially face. This is a story about Alzheimer’s.  I read, “Before I Forget: Love, Hope, Help, and Acceptance in Our Fight Against Alzheimer’s,“ by B. Smith, and Don Gasby.  This is a story about the Smith’s experience with Alzheimer’s during the early and middle stages of the disease and it describes the ways B. and her husband, Dan, coped with the disease. It was heart wrenching, and I’m glad I read it.

Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia that robs you of everything you are and everything that you have been. You suffer until you don’t realize that you’ve forgotten who you are. The grieving process begins at the early stages for family and caregivers. They continue to grieve even though their loved one is no longer aware that they are the person that is being grieved.

The Dance with Alzheimer’s

The book is about B. and Dan’s love, their honesty, and their fearlessness throughout this disease.
Dan continued to love what would become B’s new self as he grieved over the loss of her old self. This was a dance, not with each other, but with the disease of Alzheimer. I first want to share the dance by sharing B’s and Dan’s words, alternating dance steps.

I’ll tell you the biggest problem for me: trying to remember things Dan tells me. In the beginning, I felt like there were things happening, and I needed to write them down to remember them, so I did. I have a little book for that. Dan can tell me something and I might not remember it 10 minutes later. Because who wants to forget what you’re supposed to remember.

This job of caregiver, which I hadn’t signed up for, hadn’t bargained on, never anticipated, I was doing my best. But my best wasn’t good enough, not if I flared at the wife, I loved who couldn’t help herself. So that made me feel even worse: not just frazzled and tired, and very depressed, but guilty.

One thing I’m having trouble with these days is my handbag. I keep misplacing it. I’ll put it down in my closet somewhere, and then the next day I can’t remember where I left it. Or I go down to the basement to get something, and somehow get it down there, and Dan gets exasperated with me. I get exasperated too! But what am I supposed to do? I think I’m going to remember where it is, and then I just don’t.

Every morning, B. goes out to her little Mercedes-Benz two-seater. It’s a car I bought her some years ago as a present. Some hesitation or fear, or maybe confusion, keeps her from putting the bags in the car. Instead, she gets in and sits there, keys in hand, not quite up to starting the engine. And there remains, until I come out and tell her it’s time for dinner.

I don’t feel different, but I know that I am. The slightest thought makes me cry. I never cried a lot before, not much in the movies, not in real life, either. Now I cry if I hear noise and Dan’s voice, or if he tells me I’ve had another sugary midnight snack. I can’t remember. Sometimes I cry when I’m alone, for no particular reason. They say crying makes you feel better. Not with me. It just makes me feel sad all over again.

Here’s the stone cold truth: you can never truly, fully appreciate how much you love your partner until you feel you might have just lost her forever.

I don’t remember the doctor’s visit or Dan putting me on the bus. I don’t remember why I got off and started wandering. I do remember it was the evening, so it didn’t seem out of place. And I remember I felt good. I wasn’t scared or worried. I felt free! I was taking care of myself, having an adventure. I know that’s not a really good thing now. I know everyone was horrified and thought I was dead. I didn’t mean for everyone to worry! But sometimes you just need to be on your own.

Damn that disease. I’m no scientist; no politician either. I can’t invent a new drug nor a cure. But I can see how desperately one is needed, and maybe in my own way, I can help raise awareness, help put pressure on public and private sectors to steer more money to research and get the job done. Just keep B. happy during the time she has left, and that’s what I’m aiming for now.

There are rules Dan has put on me. Like no driving. No more driving! That’s hard. I’ve been driving since I was a teenager, and that white Mercedes Sports coupe in the driveway was a gift to me. “You can’t drive anymore,” says Dan. No driving for me. I get angry, but I know he’s right. I’m not going to fight that one. I’m not crazy! Just a little here and there.

The moments of dislocation and dysfunction are increasing, the ability to follow what’s said, and to do tasks that take multiple steps, all this points to the obvious, the inevitable. When those changes do occur, I hope that I’ll be able to do what I’m hoping you can do, to not lose sight of the soul within. Studies have shown that patients with this stage of Alzheimer’s hear, think, and feel, even if they seem to have vanished from the ruined bodies, they inhabit. I know I’ll be there, holding the hand of the woman I love. I guess that spirituality, too. Good luck to us all.

A Primer on Alzheimer’s

What did I learn about Alzheimer’s Dementia from this book. “Before I Forget” is a love story and it’s also a Primer on Alzheimer’s. Here are some of the lessons.

Lesson One: I learned that Alzheimer’s affects millions of people, and we need to do something about it now. Consider the numbers.

The number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s is growing — and growing fast. Nearly 7 million Americans have Alzheimer’s.

  • An estimated 6.9 million Americans age 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s in 2024. Seventy-three percent are age 75 or older.
  • About 1 in 9 people age 65 and older (10.9%) has Alzheimer’s.
  • Almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women.
  • Older Black Americans are about twice as likely to have Alzheimer’s or other dementias as older Whites.
  • Older Hispanics are about one and one-half times as likely to have Alzheimer’s or other dementias as older Whites.

As the size of the U.S. population age 65 and older continues to grow, so too will the number and proportion of Americans with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. By 2050, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s may grow to a projected 12.7 million, barring the development of medical breakthroughs to prevent or cure Alzheimer’s disease.

Lesson Two: I learned that you will slowly lose the last 10 years of your life.
Alzheimer’s comes in three stages: Early, Middle, and Late

  • Early Stage: You lose your short-term episodic memory, especially to recent conversations and events, your hand-eye coordination becomes somewhat impaired, making it difficult to use eating utensils. These symptoms may bring on mood swings and depression. This stage can last from one to four years.
  • Middle Stage: long-term memory loss becomes evident. Childhood recollections may fade, difficulty recognizing family members. You become unaware of current events and confused about time. You develop sleeplessness, or too much sleep, and have difficulties with hygiene and toileting. This stage can last from 2 to 10 years.
  • Late Stage: There is profound memory loss and the loss of ability to communicate, and comprehend others. The need for round-the-clock help for all personal hygiene issues.  You develop the inability to swallow, and you become incontinent. Delusions are common. You become immobile and unresponsive. This stage typically last from 1 to 3 years. The most common cause of death is pneumonia.

Lesson Three: I learned that as difficult and frustrating as it is to lose the last 10 years of your life, it is equally difficult for family members and loved ones to watch as their loved one slowly fades and disappears. Caregivers suffer through this 10+ year process. It is a family burden to be the primary caregivers. When, not if, you need home care it will likely cost up to $1000 a week. Insurance is not going to cover all of the home-care expenses. He/she will be there, but not be there. He/she will be a burden to you and also to your grown children.

Lesson Four: I learned that no one survives a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. There are medications that claim to slow down the process.

Lesson Five: As of yet, they do not know what causes it.

Lesson Six: There may, and I emphasize may, be things you can do to lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s Dementia. In a study in 2020, researchers, looked at diet and lifestyle, and how they increased or decreased risk for Alzheimer’s. One study looked at 1845 adults that were 73 and older, and the other study looked at 920 adults that were 81+, all free from Alzheimer’s. They followed them for six years. Here is what lowered the risk of Alzheimer’s was:

  1. Non-smoking.
  2. Engaged in consistent, moderate, or intense exercise.
  3. Limited alcohol consumption to light to moderate.
  4. Followed the Mediterranean Diet.
  5. Stayed engaged in cognitive-challenging activities.

There are no promises in life. My good friend Sam sees life as walking through a minefield. You walk through life, and you step on a mine (Alzheimer’s, cancer, stroke, fill in the blank). The real question isn’t “will you step on a mine,” but “will you recover?” 

I’ve written two blogs on Resiliency in a previous season. That explains how you can prepare yourself to bounce back when you do hit one of these land mines. Is there anything that you can do to decrease your risk or prevent the devastating effect of these mines

And the answer is maybe! I’m writing about the aging brain in this season of my Healthy Aging Blog. I’ve asserted that you can’t get along in life without a brain, and it’s important to keep your brain healthy, because every part of your body depends on your brain. So, here are my suggestions:

  • Exercise every day.
  • Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.
  • Work out your brain by studying, writing, learning new skills that involve hand coordination.
  • If you smoke, stop smoking.
  • If you drink, limit  your intake to light or moderate drinking, mostly red wine.


Healthy Aging Series Season 10 Episode 5

Your Brain on Food | Healthy Aging Series: S10 E5

Healthy Aging Series Season 10 Episode 5A Real Man?

It was a cartoon. Really, it was an advertisement for Joe Weider Protein Powder that was circulating when I was a high school junior. It might’ve been on the back cover of the Boys Life Magazine. The advertisement picture was of a young man and woman at the beach under an umbrella. There was another man who was muscular, kicking sand in their faces. When the man under the umbrella asked him to stop, the muscular man says, and I quote, “Shut up, you skinny runt.”
The “skinny runt” is an early version of the real Joe Weider and he spends the next weeks and months working out, building muscle and then confronts the bully on the beach. Mind you, I don’t advocate this way of dealing with bullies! And, I don’t want to suggest that muscular men are real men and non-muscular men are not real men. Having said that, Joe Weider confronts him and says, “Here’s something I owe you,” as he punches the bully in the face. “Oh, Joe,” his female companion says, “you are a real man after all.”

First, there are so many things wrong about this cartoon. It’s a horrible way to deal with bullies. And, “might does not make right.” Plus, real men are more than superficial muscle-bound gym rats.

A Stronger You

Having said that, growing muscle and being physically strong and fit are very important, especially as you age. When I was in my late 50s, I was using a Personal Trainer to help me prepare for my 60s. He asked what my goal was for when I would be 60. As I racked the 35-pound dumbbells after finishing the bicep curls, I said confidently, “I want to be a badass.” Here’s what I meant: I want to be able to hike and backpack into and out of the Grand Canyon. I want to be able to summit Mount Sterling in the Smoky Mountains with a 35-pound backpack. I want to look and feel good and stand tall. I want to be able to haul 50 or 60 bags of mulch in and out of my jeep for landscaping the front lawn. Being a badass, for me, is more of an attitude. It’s the “get busy living or get busy dying” way of life. It’s the difference between “dying to live and living to die.” It’s the opposite of living a life of quiet desperation. It’s refusing to throw in the towel or tapping out during hardships. It’s the “never give up, never surrender” philosophy of life. I’m talking about mental badassery. Mental badassery means being mentally sharp and mentally fit until the end, and to be mentally fit, you have to have healthy brain. 

Taking care of your brain is what I’m calling BrainCare and in a previous episode we looked at “your brain on exercise.” Now we’ll look at your brain on food.

Let’s look at nutrition and its effect on having a healthy brain. I want to share the results of several studies without boring you about all the details, so stay with me as I look at what it means to eat a good, healthy brain diet.

First was the Seven Countries Study that took place during the 1950s and studied 10,000 men in Seven Countries.
Conclusion: Those men eating Mediterranean-type diets lived longer and suffered the least cognitive decline and disease. After the 10,000 men were studied and their diets reverted back to pre-study patterns, and became more like traditional diets of the United States, they became less physically active and their risk of heart disease increased.

Second was the Epic Study, which was a collaboration between 10 European countries, the National Institute of Health, and AARP. This study took place in the 1960s.
Conclusion: People who ate a Mediterranean-style diet, lived longer, healthier lives. Also, this type of diet was associated with less cardiovascular disease and cancer. They also found that the Mediterranean diet, “potentially prevented cancer initiation in progress.”

Third was the Lyons Diet Heart Study (1998). This study took 300 heart attack victims and randomly assigned them to eat the Mediterranean diet and 300 to eat the Standard Western diet. The study was supposed to last five years, but was stopped after 27 months because the control group rate of dying significantly increased, and they felt like it was unethical to continue the study.
Conclusion: the Mediterranean Diet decreased the risk of mortality.

Fourth, the PREDIMED Study (NIH). This study followed 7000 people on three different diets, one of which was the Mediterranean Diet.
Conclusion: Five years after initiating this study the Mediterranean diet-group members were doing significantly better than the control groups.

Fifth, the Dash Diet: This is a diet that was developed to address the issues of hypertension. It involves eating lots of fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grains, fish, poultry, and nuts. It decreased the intake of red meats, sweets, and sugary drinks. 

Conclusion: Recently, researchers used a new brain diet called the Mind Diet, which is a hybrid between the Mediterranean Diet and the Dash Diet, and the study demonstrated that participants were 50% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s Disorder. That’s a big claim, and it will be interesting to follow future studies on this particular diet.

In preparation for upcoming blogs, I have been reading a lot about strokes, Alzheimer’s, and ALS. Without exception, every book, every podcast, and every textbook highlights the importance of good nutrition as a part of preventive measures. This goes back to what I have talked about throughout this season which is, “What’s good for the heart is good for the brain.” 

If you want to have a healthy brain, you’ve got to provide it the nutrition that will feed it and you have to avoid those things that promote inflammation and micronutrient deficits.

True North Diet

Here is my simple, easy to follow diet for a healthy brain:

1. Watch your portion size. People in Europe typically eat half the portion sizes that we eat here in the United States

2. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables. How difficult is that? Add fruit and vegetables to every meal. There are vegetable supplements that you can add to drinks and smoothies. I buy baby-food squeeze packs (fruit and veggies and protein) and that’s my lunch. It’s one way I get my micronutrients.

3. Eat lean protein. Eat as much as you want. Eat eggs.

4. Stay away from processed foods. Eat real food. Stay out of the center section of the grocery store. Especially, stay out of most of the freezer section. 

5. Stay away from sugar, and avoid eating any foods, or processed foods with added sugar.

6. Limit your dairy. I don’t consider eggs dairy, even though they’re in the dairy section. I’m not afraid of eating eggs. Eggs are good for you.

7. According to the Mediterranean diet you can drink red wine on a daily basis, 1-2 drinks. I stopped drinking months ago. I feel better, sleep better, and was able to drop 10 lbs. with little effort. I have an upcoming episode on your brain on alcohol.

I’m going to be presenting an entire episode on the Mediterranean\Dash Diet, which has been called the Mind Diet.

Stewardship of Your Brain
I’ve been focusing a lot these past months on being a good steward of my body. That means taking care of it and keeping it well maintained. Maybe, the idea of being a good steward of your body will help you focus on a diet that promotes a healthy brain.


Healthy Aging Series Season 10 Episode 4

Your Brain on Star Trek | Healthy Aging Series: S10 E4


When I was eight years old, my father moved us to a 20-acre horse farm. He started raising horses a few years earlier and had gotten the idea he could make money boarding horses and providing riding lessons. Years later, he confessed that it was a bad idea

When I was nine, I was trampled by one of our horses and hospitalized overnight. The horse’s name was Valentine. I survived. I wanted to wear the bandages around my head to school the next day, but the doctor said I didn’t need them, and I had nothing to show for the trauma I experienced, except a few stitches. That’s all. 

Star Trek

We lived across the street from a laundromat. I guess having a laundromat across the street and a shitty damp basement factored into Mom and Dad not getting a washer and dryer. I’m not sure why I was chosen, but I had laundromat-duty every week, and during the wash and spin cycles, I would go next-door and play army with Tommy. Tommy’s family had a color TV, and I remember waiting at the front door for him to come out. I could feel the air conditioner as his mom opened the door, and I stole a glance at the big  Xenith Color Television console.  And for a few moments, I feasted on Star Trek. The color version. 

My mom was always mindful of serendipities, those pleasant surprises that come our way, and I wondered whether or not it was one of those serendipities, or whether Tommy invited me in to watch Star Trek because he felt sorry for me after my near death experience.  I didn’t care why.

It wasn’t life-changing, but it was the very first complete color TV episode of anything that I had ever watched. They were all there: Spock, Bones, Scotty, Sulu, Chekhov, and of course, Captain Kirk, all wearing those red and yellow and blue and green uniforms.

James T. Kirk

William Shatner is 92 years old as I write this blog. He starred in 97 episodes of Star Trek and the first seven Star Trek movies. He also played a veteran police sergeant, TJ Hooker. He has hosted reality base TV shows, was in rescue 911, and is doing voice overs for numerous educational TV shows. I loved his character, “Big Giant Head,“ in Third Rock from the Sun. He was an attorney in Boston Legal. And he’s had several other acting gigs throughout his lifetime. In 2021, he flew into space aboard The Blue Virgin suborbital capsule.  

Shatner has been married four times and has three children. He found his third wife lying lifeless at the bottom of their backyard swimming pool. It was ruled an accidental drowning, due to the fact that the autopsy revealed both alcohol and diazepam in her blood. Shatner and his fourth wife divorced in January 2020 but reconciled a year later. When Leonard Nimoy died in 2015, Shatner wrote, “I loved him like a brother,” but they hadn’t spoken in person for five years. William Shatner was human. Many of his former colleague saw him as a “cantankerous, old fossil,” as George Takei, Mr. Sulu complained. But a year later, William Shatner and his former Star Trek costars made amends.

Shatner loves horses and owns a 360-acre farm in Kentucky. He has co-written several books. I picked up “Live long and…What I Might Have Written Along the Way,” written in 2018. I’ve been thinking and reading a lot about successful aging. I’ve asked myself, am I aging successfully? What does that even mean to age successfully? I’m sure researchers have considered the question and come up with the definition. I won’t bore you with any definition today, but does it really matter if someone looks at you and says, “Yeah they’re aging successfully,” or possibly unsuccessfully? I think not.

I think what matters is whether you think you’re aging successfully or not. If you read William Shatner‘s book with this question in mind: Does HE think he’s aging successfully? Then, the answer is yes. Honestly, who cares what his ex-wives or ex-costars, or even what his children think. What does William Shatner think? By the way, his three daughters are very quick to point out that he was and is a very good father.

Successful Aging According to James T. Kirk

  1. Shatner would say, “I’m happy and love my life”
    Shatner was a guy drawn to shiny objects, which is maybe a hazard of the acting profession. But he has had several constants in his life or threads as he calls them. These threads include, and not in any order of importance,: his daughters, his horses and dogs, his work, his ex-wives.
    I think Shatner would say that, despite all of the distractions from shiny objects, these things have helped contribute to my happiness and  love of life.

      2. Shatner would say, “I’m able to do most of what I want to do.”
           He walks his dog’s almost every day.
           He rides his horses 3 to 5 times weekly.
          He wakes up and works.

He hasn’t had to work for many years, but continues to work.

“I was happy, I realized, because I love what I do. I don’t love it every minute, I don’t love every aspect of it, I don’t love getting up at 5 AM. I don’t love the distractions and the issues, but I have found enormous pleasure in my work.” He concludes, “The thought of retiring has never occurred to me.”

Doing what he wants to do requires good health, and “Good health,” he writes, “is not an accident.”
Shatner continues to lift 25 pound weights several times a week and walks as much as he can.
Here’s what Shatner has learned: “There are steps we can all be taking to maintain our health. There are no secret formulas or magic potions. Balance matters. Don’t smoke. Stay active. Eat sensibly. Remind yourself how good you feel. And get as much sleep as you need. For me at least so far so good.“

  1. Shatner says, “I’m surrounded by my family, my friends, my dogs, my children, and my grandchildren.
    Shatner reported that he had managed to maintain a loving relationship with his daughters. “Even better,“ he proudly says, “having finally learned how to open myself up, at least partially to relationships, I have established loving relationships with my grandchildren. I’m now convinced that the most wonderful thing a grandparent can do is hold his grandchild tightly, then hand the child back to his parents, and tell them, here, it’s yours. Then go to the movie“

    There are other topics in the book that support the idea that Captain James T Kirk believes he is aging successfully. How about you? Where are you at in the aging process? In your 40s, 50s, 60s like me or older? Are you happy? Are you able to do the things you want to do? Are you surrounded by people or pets who you love and who love you? 

Forget the money and the fame or the shiny objects. What matters to you? These are the things that will determine if you are aging successfully.


Healthy Aging Series Season 10 Episode 3

It’s All About the Engine, Part 3 | Healthy Aging Series: S10 E3

I attended college in Portland Oregon. I lived in the upstairs of a house owned by Mr. and Mrs. Peters. 2705 Brooklyn St. Rent was  $75 a month. It was 1980. I remember Mr. Peters was in his late 80s. He was sharp as a tack, always reading the Bible, always listening to Christian radio programs. I would come home from work and school in the evenings and his radio was blaring Dr. J. Vernon MCGee’s “Through the Bible Hour.” He could barely hear, and he would forget to turn down the radio. He was a retired painter and had invented an attachment for ladders to help maintain stability while leaning against the house. Mrs. Peters was a gem as well.

Mr. Peters had been active most of his life as a painter. He had a strong support system through his church and family and was seemingly free from any neurological disease. He exercised his brain every day via Bible studies even in his late 80s. Maybe Mr. Peters is lucky too. I don’t remember him talking about any of the brain landmines, mines like Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. His brain seemed mostly intact, free from neurological disease. And I’m making assumptions about things like his diet. I would see him work or piddle around the yard or in his garage. For a man his age (I almost always hate to hear that phrase), he appeared to be aging well, which included a healthy brain.

This, of course, begs the questions: How do you take care of your brain? What can you do to ensure that our brains remain as healthy as possible as we age?

Here are three assertions I want to make about your brain, your body, and your health:

If you want a healthy mind, you need a healthy brain.

If you want a healthy brain, you need a healthy body.

There are things that you can do to have a healthy body.

You cannot disconnect your brain from your body!

Well, that’s four assertions!

So let’s look at what it takes to care for your brain. I’m separating “BrainCare” into several parts.

Part One will explore exercising your body, having positive, social interactions, and learning how-to-do-good brain gymnastics

Let’s get started!

The most important thing you can do for your brain is to exercise your body. I exercise 8 to 12 hours a week, mostly walking and hiking and resistance training. I love Jefferson Memorial Forest and The Parklands. In a recent New York Times article, it asserted that whatever health problems you have they can probably be solved by walking. Google and read it! I walked 350,000 steps in March. More in April. Some of that included 35,000 steps a day I hiked out to Plateau Point in the Grand Canyon. Besides walking, I cycle during the summer, 15 to 20 miles a week, through sections of Broad Run Park, my park. They are all my parks. I lift weights three times a week. I stretch 1 to 2 times a week. I’m not going to bore you with studies in details, but here are the results of several longitudinal studies: 

People who regularly exercise were less likely to experience cognitive impairment as they age. Google, “exercise and the brain.”

FYI: I’m working on an episode for this season entitled, “BDNF, your BFF!” BDNF stands for Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor. BDNF helps the brain to develop new connections, repair failing brain cells and protect healthy brain cells. BDNF helps your brain grow stronger and there are things you can do to increase your BDNF levels. Guess what one of those things are? You guessed it…exercise. I can’t wait to post it!

Next, you have to work out your brain the same way you work out your body. The bad news is, as you age, you lose white and gray matter. The good news is, because of neuroplasticity, you can grow your brain by working it out. 

You can have a bigger brain by exercising your brain!

Two Types of Workouts for Brain:

First, study! I study. I don’t just read, I study. And then I write. I learn new things. I’m studying people’s lives and currently studying and reading about the brain. Anytime you read about neuroplasticity you hear about the study of the cab drivers in London. They were required to memorize 25,000 streets over the period of 2 to 3 years. Their brains got bigger. Do you want a stronger brain? Spend your life learning new things.

Second, work on improving your processing speed. A new study shows that spending time throughout the week playing…(wait for it) Mario Kart, or games like Mario Kart can improve your memory processing speed. As I shared in an earlier episode, your brains processing speed is one of the things that declines as we get older. Here’s a way to fix that problem! Forget about the sudoku or crossword puzzles. Don’t quit doing them; Just realize they provide a minimum amount of exercise for the brain when it comes to processing speed. But anything you do is going to help you! Crossword puzzles, sudoku, brain teasers, or anything else that gets you to think is going to help you improve your brain. I’ve played the guitar many years of my life but have not been able to do it much in the past five years. I’ve set up my guitar in my office, and I’m going to start learning how to play new songs, because any time you learn new things, study new things, practice brain skills, you are getting a stronger brain. FYI: I purchased a Switch and a Mario Kart game to test the theory. I’ll let you know the results in an upcoming blog.

So, here is part one of how to have a healthy brain blog. We looked at exercise, developing a positive, social support network, and brain gymnastics.

Having a healthy brain is a no-brainer!