00:00 You’re listening to the live happier longer podcast, episode 47.
00:15 Welcome to the live happier longer podcast. We’re your hosts, Molly watts and Angela McDade we are here to help you build the five habits of happier longer life and to create your habit mindset, starting now.
00:30 Hey Angela. Hey Molly, how are you today? Not too bad at all. Not too bad at all. Excellent. How is your brain feeling today? Not too bad. Had a little coffee? It’s always good when your brain feels good. Well your brain’s an important piece of real estate in your body. Kind of the high end property of her, of our body. And today we’re going to talk about, um, well we’ve taken a break really from the last week. We took a break from this series of, uh, chit chat between us about the importance of all those daily habits, right? Right, right. The habit building. Yes. And we last did daily habit number one move. And then we took this break because a, we got to interview somebody who was just an excellent example of moving yes. And understanding the quality of that habit. And really she just, she gets it in a lot of different ways and the things that we talk about, about why it’s important beyond your physical mobility.
01:34 And I think Lorraine laddish who we spoke with last week really gave us some great insights into how that habit of move has helped her emotionally, mentally, physically, obviously. Yeah. And actually I think is helping her in her business world as well cause she’s uh, her flawed Yogini and uh, her, her social media influencer as a blogger just has her business has really taken off. And I think that that her yoga poses probably helps that. Um, at any rate, we’re back here today and focusing on daily habit number two, learn. So we’ve discussed before that our first three habits move, learn and share really address the top three fears that people have about aging. Yeah. So with move, obviously it’s their loss of mobility, right? And with share it’s about loneliness and isolation. Yes Because share is just about how you share yourself and your time with the world.
02:39 Right. And learn, which is the one we’re going to be talking about today, really talks about, is obviously about preventing cognitive decline and dementia. And I think that of all of these, cognitive decline and dementia, at least to me, feels the scariest. Yeah. I think, I mean, people say that off cuff remark or think I’m losing my mind right. And that people say that and as like a passing comment, but it’s a real fear. Yeah, for sure. And even though it’s not as prevalent as the loss of mobility, which impacts 20% of all people, 65 and older, some one in five people 65 and older has a mobility issue. That’s a lot. Yeah. Um, for dementia, those numbers are slightly lower, about 14%, uh, in both cases. And, but of course, in both of those cases, the percentage is climb as people age. So, you know, 75 and older, 85 and older, you’re going to see more.
03:43 Right. Uh, but in, in fact, dementia affects 37% of people over the age of 90. So, uh, what I think is important about all of our discussions on these habits is that there’s real scientific proof that you can play an active role in preventing these statistics. And what was once a lot of this was just thought of as a natural consequence of aging, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Yeah. And that is very reassuring, right? Right. But as with everything we say, it’s really all about the habits. And it doesn’t have to mean huge changes. Even small things can make a difference, but it’s, it’s habits and the consistency that is what’s so important and habits only happen with consistency and that and that you’re committed to making it happen. I have to do it. Right. Here’s the thing about, and we’ve talked about the link between move and learn or move and your brain health.
04:43 Yeah. A lot. We talked about that in the episode on move. Yeah. But the thing is that we’re not genetically programmed to live in a state of idleness and lethargy. Uh, and if we do, our brains pay a high price both in the short term and the longterm. So, uh, and idleness not only in terms of a physical yeah, but idleness in terms of your brain, right? So for daily habit number two, learn and building that habit, we’re going to focus on a few different ways that you can help improve your brain health so that you can have a brain that feels good like Angela’s and then some practical tips to build a daily habit of learning to build that daily habit of learning. Uh, lastly we are going to share with you, we’re going to give you some very specific, uh, tips on building the habit of reading.
05:36 Yup. I’ve shared many times that I’m in very in a, you are as well. I know. A very avid reader. Yeah. And we talked about last, uh, season in our episode on Alzheimer’s. We’ve talked about a study that was done with the nuns. Yeah. It’s called the nuns. It’s literally called the nun study. Yeah. We’ll refer to it as that. And um, there was some just, uh, very, this study isn’t, I mean the study is about 700 people. It’s still ongoing. It’s, they’re still taking the research because these nuns actually, they followed them for 30 plus years and then when they die, they’ve donated their brains to science. So it’s, so it’s a before and after study. Yeah. And they were actually able to see the physical, uh, manifestations of Alzheimer’s in nun’s brains. Yes. While these nuns didn’t show any of the symptoms, which is again, very reassuring.
06:33 And you’re right, we want to just avoid the symptoms. Right. And one of the reasons that they think that that’s possible is because the nuns spend so much of their time. Their brains are very actively engaged in reading and analyzing scripture and you know, that’s a part of just, it’s a very integral part of their lives. Yes. So at any rate, that was an interesting, uh, study. But, uh, definitely I believe that reading is a habit that people can foster and should foster. Yes. And it’s, and if you can read it, it’s an easy one to pick up. You know, it’s something you can absolutely do. Right. And, and can continue to do, even if you, if your sight becomes impaired, if your hearing becomes impaired, these are things that you can, you know, you can continue to figure out ways to read your whole life.
07:30 So, all right, but before we get there, that’s down. That’s going to be closer to the end. Let’s look first at some of the factors that affect the brain health in general. So like I said before, it’s, we’re not really designed, our brains aren’t designed to be static. Yeah. And neither are bodies. So we, we’ve always mentioned that daily habit number one move is number one for a reason, not only because of its impact on our physical mobility, but it’s impact on our brain. And I know we talked about it last season, but the bottom line is if it’s good for your heart, it’s good for your brain. Yeah. And exercise increases oxygen rich blood cells that nourish the brain nerve cells and the connection between brain cells. So it’s really physically important to, uh, to exercise, to benefit brain health. And, yeah, the thing is, is that there are different, you, you doesn’t have to not necessarily always be a hardcore cardio.
08:38 You know, anytime you get your heart pumping. Yeah. If you’re increasing your heart rate, that means that your blood is moving into, in your body faster than it previously was. Right. And that’s good. Therefore you’re just increasing all of that good nutrition to your brain. Right. But there’s other things like yoga, Tai Chi that that can actually help with brain fog and concentration. Um, and thing is thing like with you’ll get people saying, you know, if you haven’t done yoga, people will just think it all la da da…yoga is hard. It’s very hard. Like you do it, it really increases your, your heart rate when you’re, when you’re holding poses and doing so it’s, it does, it is a physical workout as well as the calming effect as well. Right? And so, and all of these things, walking, cycling, swimming, skipping rope, any of these things that improve blood circulation and, uh, require coordination as well. Um, all really good for your brain.
09:43 So physical wellness is just one of the things that is a factor that impacts brain health. So the whole idea of moving, uh, just is paramount to brain health. Another thing that impacts brain health is intellectual wellness. And yeah, this is, we’ve, we’ve talked about this before as well, that studies have actually shown that people with a higher education are less likely to develop dementia and other cognitive disorders. Um, that doesn’t mean that if you don’t have a college degree, PhD. Right. Ever. You can still stimulate your mind by, uh, taking college classes, which is a really great idea for people as they age. A lot of times those classes at community colleges are free or they’re very, very inexpensive. Um, playing, you know, brain training games, video games, learning new skills and crafts.
10:41 And this is exactly what we mean when we say you got to exercise your brain, right? Exercise your brain. You’ve got to do daily habit to learn, right? That’s, that’s this kind of intellectual wellness as what we’ve always talked about as being a daily habit. Number two. Um, one thing that I will note that we’ve realized along the way is that our five daily habits are often very complimentary. And in many incident instances, you can check off two or more boxes in one new activity. So let’s just say like for instance, if you were to take a Tai Chi class, right, you’re going to check off four boxes all with that one activity. Cause you’re going to move, right? Just good physical movement, right? You’re going to be learning because you’re gonna not know Tai Chi and you’ve got learn steps. Yeah, exactly. You’re going to share because you’re in a class. So you are immediately with other people and you’re going to four, five, let go. Cause you’re going to, it’s about meditation and you know, there’s a, there’s a stillness in Tai Chi and, and, and really after the class you’d be feeling so good. You go see, you’ll be so grateful. So there you go. All fine. Yeah, exactly.
11:59 So, um, that’s, you know, so that’s the, the what we’ve, like I said, there’s, it’s all sort of integrated and definitely because we talk about this as being aging with optimism, really optimism is, lives in your brain, right? So everything that we can do to create a positive space and positive brain health is going to help, it’s all beneficial, right? Improve your optimism. All right. Back to the factors that impact brain health. So, um, a healthy diet. So poor nutrition has been cited as a factor in developing dementia, depression, anxiety and more. And the Mediterranean diet is noted for reducing the chances of dementia.
12:43 So we usually steer clear. Yeah, well we talk about diet, but we don’t promote any one one diet. Correct. Correct. And, and that’s really because in terms of longevity, there are many different diets that will do the, will do the work. If we look at the blue zones, um, they have people eating very different, well, I mean there’s, there’s a difference in their diets for sure. From Japan to Sardinia. There’s, I mean, yeah, very different diets. Right? But, so again, that’s not necessarily, but, but there are, uh, just like we said, the Mediterranean diet has been noted for reducing chances of dementia. Um, Alzheimer’s Association also recommend the DASH diet, which is to help lower blood pressure.
13:37 And there are five foods that Harvard, uh, did studies on and suggested, or did, you know, they were talking about, uh, foods that benefit brain health. And there’s five that I think, you know, this would be something that if you were thinking about doing a change in your diet or building a new habit around, uh, you might want to incorporate these foods into your diet. That can be a positive habit to step into. Right?
14:03 So the five foods that are linked to better brain power, leafy green veggies, and that’s like Kale and spinach and Broccoli. Yeah. And we’ve Collard Greens, I guess we’ve talked about that more than once. That, you know, it doesn’t do any good to talk about eating your Greens. You’ve got to actually do it. But this, you know, that’s. And the green ones, these are actually clean, right? As opposed to veggies that aren’t green. Right. Although they’re all very good as well. But these are specific to brain health. So, um, so leafy green veggies, fatty fish. So Salmon, tuna I think and that share omega three omega three fatty acids. Yup. That’s why that tuna casserole period for Angela helped to help. So welcome Rebecca likely help Angela and Rebecca.
15:00 Um, berries. So all of these have a, the darker berries, especially blueberries, raspberries, blackberries. Yeah. They, you can, any food that has those, uh, dark flavanoids, those, those are always best for your overall health, but again are delicious and are delicious. Um, tea and coffee. Doesn’t this make all of us happy? It makes me happy. Yeah. So been proven too green tea and coffee, all of the and it is the caffeine. So yeah. And the green tea has its own special stuff as well and also is very pleasant. Yes. And lastly, um, walnuts, well, nuts in general, nuts in general, but walnuts get the, the number one top price for, for, for brain, the best in class, best in class for brain health. So those are just five foods. Again, not you know, there are specific diets that you can, or diet recommendations. Um, but in terms of uh, reducing dementia, but adding these, if you don’t do anything else, adding these five foods really good. Yeah, it will be good for you.
16:09 So other things that can impact your brain health, regular sleep, we talked about that and the episode and we’ll link that again in our episode on Alzheimer’s Prevention, exercise and sleep. And again, it’s something that people, it’s underrated and people really have to take a step back and try and get more sleep. Well, yes, and we talked about this in that episode. There’s a badge of honor for society surviving without it, right? Right. Like really like, oh, I only got, you know, four hours of sleep last night. And he and I am knocking it out the park. Right.
16:48 And, and, and truth be told, a lot of successful entrepreneurs practice getting up an hour earlier to be able to, and I know that for me that that hour earlier, and I think how Elron and the miracle morning he talks about spending that first hour in terms of visualizing and doing things like that. But it does mean getting up earlier. Yeah. And does it’s all very well getting up earlier but it means that you should be going to bed an hour earlier the night before and it’s things I know a lot of people will go into work an hour earlier because they can get a little work done without being ended up to by other people. They avoid traffic like I do. Yes. So you know, so there’s, there’s the getting up an hour earlier is great just as long as you get to bed earlier. And, and, and recommendations are folks that everyone, adults need an average of seven to eight hours of sleep per night. So, and we all about that, about the fact that your, your brain is basically being washed in the washed and fed. Right. And the fluids that clear out all the toxins and negative things that happens in during sleep. So, um, okay.
18:04 And the last one of, of things that impact brain health that we’re going to talk about right now is socialization. Uh, we’re going to go into that in depth and then next week, but yeah, but, um, stronger social ties, lower your risk of depression, anxiety and dementia. Some other negative things that can increase the likelihood of dementia that we’re not going to go into, but I’ll just touch on are smoking, alcohol abuse, high blood pressure, diabetes and um, head injury. These are all things, you know, basically that uh, lead to poor brain health. Some of them we can’t control. Some of them we certainly can. And should I just like the head injury thing. There’s a lot going on. Just know about safety and sports and all of that. The whole, um, concussion, the whole question. Yes, yes. Protocol and everything. Yeah. And obviously like pro professional athletes showing those the post-traumatic, um, I don’t remember the, it’s time or whatever that, that later on where they’ve, they’re experiencing some severe issues. So, um, obviously if you can avoid a head injury, you should, right. Wearing a helmet is a good idea, especially if you’re, uh, riding bikes again after potentially like, you know, people taking up cycling that haven’t been cycling for since you were a kid. When, when we didn’t have seatbelts in cars and bike helmets on bikes yeah. Wear a helmet. It’s a miracle we all survived. Seriously.
19:41 So we have talked on the podcast that really, it’s been very in, in all of our, uh, study of neuroscience and neurology that, you know, we’re now amateur neuroscientists, uh, that really, it’s been very recent in brain research, recent in terms of if you’re looking, you know, over the history of hundreds of years, it’s only been since the two thousands that people, uh, have understood that neuroplasticity and the brain can actually still create new pathways for our entire lives.
20:16 Yeah. We used to think that at once we reached a certain age around 20 or so that things were just, that’s it, hardwired, done. Um, but it’s, it’s important because that’s also important because, um, as people age and potentially have a stroke that, that where that could happen. It’s good to know, right? That the brain can repair itself to some extent to some extent. Yeah. But here’s the thing, and that’s why we talk about this, about it, making it a habit every day is that to realize the full benefits of neural plasticity you have to practice using your brain. How many of us like really focus on numbing our brains at, you know, buffering out and tuning out. We talk, I mean, you, you kind of used that phrase like, I’m just gonna veg out and watch TV. Yeah. Right. We need to be as mindful about the opposite side of that engaging our brain as we do in terms of relaxation, our brain.
21:19 Yeah. So research suggests that, that when more than one area of the brain is used, the harder the body works to keep the neurons in the brain healthy and connected. So that’s why we talk about things like building new habits like Tai Chi where you’re having to work on different, right. You’re learning, you know, you’re learning maybe the names of things and, but you’re also physically engaged learning and having to coordinate your balance and things like that. Scientists think that some of the, um, activities that we talk about when we’re saying use that brain is building an establishing a reserve. And it means that that’s where your brain will go. And that’s the area that your brain will use if some other area of the brain becomes damaged or brain function is disrupted. It’s kind of like a little backup, right? A little detour, right?
22:15 And experts recommend sticking to brain training that involves real world activities, exercises to strengthen brain functions should offer novelty and challenge. So once something gets too easy, yeah. Mix it up. Yup. Go try something else. So let’s talk about some of the things that people can do to build habit Number two, learn. I love this one. I have never, I’d never thought about doing this before, but I really think that this is, especially in this world that we live in now of um, navigation and the Internet, uh, draw a map from memory. So after returning home or visiting a new place, try to draw a map of the area and repeat that every time you go visit a new location. I think though even, how many times have you given directions and you go, you take a left and, but you don’t know the name of the street.
23:12 Right? Like what is that street called? And there’s some streets that you obviously do know, right. But it’s like the little street that comes off that street don’t know the name of. So that’d be a good test to just list all the streets. Yeah. Look at the names of the street. Learn the streets that you’re driving on every single day. Yeah. And be able to do that in your, you know, write that down.
23:32 Challenged your taste buds when you’re eating. Try to identify individual ingredients in your meal, including subtle herbs and spices. Yeah. I like the, I like doing that. I like food, so. Right, right. It’s good. Like for even, um, for drinking wine, it’s just going to say, do you going to bring up wine? Yeah. Wine. And also coffee. Like, I love coffee as well. So, um, when you’re drinking because you can coffee tastes the same way as you can wine taste. I’ve never actually done it and I really would like to do it, but it’s when you read in the packet has, you know, subtle tastes of, you know, chocolate, Caramel, right. Tobacco, like all of these lovely scents that you’re, you know, you’re used to smelling and if you, if you taste it and try and identify that. I love that. Yeah, it’s a great, and so again, challenging your brain in that way.
24:30 So we just mentioned this, refine your hand eye abilities. Take up a whole new hobby that involves fine motor skills such as knitting, drawing, painting, or assembling a puzzle. We do puzzles all the time in our house and it can be challenging for sure. Frustrating even. Yeah. Um, definitely the, again, kind of the using different parts of your brain so that fine motor skill and then the great satisfaction once it’s done. Right. I don’t know that I could, boy, if I could knit something, I think it would be modern miracle. I used to knit. I don’t knit anymore. Yeah.
25:06 All right. Take a cooking class then we just talked about. Then you can go a challenge your taste buds all in one thing and also learn a new cuisine. Cooking uses a number of senses, smell, touch, sight and tastes, which all involve different parts of the brain. So, um, super fun. And you know, why not do that? Uh, in first of all, it’s again, it’s a social thing, right? So you’re engaging with other people. Um, and you could even do that. You could host, you could do that with a group of friends. You could do it in your own home. Try it different, making a different cuisine that you’ve never tried before.
25:39 Alright. Learn a foreign language. So the listening and hearing that you do it when you’re learning a language like that involves again, different areas of the brain, brain, and it stimulates the brain. Create word pictures, visualize the spelling of a word in your head. Then try and think of any other words that begin or end with the same two letters. So you don’t need, I mean, what I like about all of this is, you know, you, there are tons of apps. Uh, I, I have an app and I will link it in the show notes that I like to use or, um, just brain games. But, um, you know, you don’t have to build an app. I mean, yeah, there’s usually a lot of things, stuff that you can do just yourself, you know. And this one test your recall. This is kind of what we were talking about, making a list of street names, but this like grocery items, things to do. Anything else that comes to mind? Just memorize a list and then come back in an hour or so and see how many of you, you recall.
26:39 Learn to let the music play, learn to play a musical instrument or join a choir. Good For your brain in so many different ways. Do math in your head, um, figure out problems without the aid of a pencil on paper or calculator. That one I think for a lot of us is, uh, would be challenging for many, many reasons. Yeah, I know. I know that I, I like to write it down. Yeah. I’m visual that way. So, so doing things in doing math in your head that says toughie. Yeah. I just, I like to see it. Yeah. Yeah. So, uh, but you know, it’s good. I mean tough is good. Challenge is good. So it’s, these are just little things that you can try. Not everything is going to resonate with you and you know, by all means it’s about finding, just as with any habit, it’s finding whatever is going to work for you, work for you and do it right.
27:35 These are some other little tips that I thought were kind of interesting about, uh, just brain health. This isn’t really about building the habit of learn, but I liked these. Little tidbits, right. So, um, crying and chewing gum, boost levels of oxygen to the brain. I just think that’s so interesting. Yeah. Chewing gum. Yeah, I know. And I have a thing about chewing gum, people that gum that smack their gum. And so it’s very interesting to me that I don’t have a problem with the chewing gum. I have a problem with hearing the chewing gum. That’s what I mean. Yeah, right, right. That’s exactly what people are seeing it or seeing it anyways. So evidently boosts levels of oxygen to your brain. So do it. Just don’t do it around me. And Angela, keep your mouth closed.
28:24 Um, so I thought this was interesting to empathy and acting, stimulate imagination and mental flexibility by effecting the Dorsolateral prefrontal Cortex, which is responsible for decision making and working memory as well as the frontopolar prefrontal cortex. You see why you never want to talk too much about the brain. Get down there into the weeds. Those words are tricky, but empathy and acting. So you know, the just go take an acting class. Um, meditation techniques such as visualization, deep breathing, ease, stress and lead to deeper focus, lower blood pressure, increased oxygen flow, and they slow your heartbeat. Lorraine talked about that last week about meditation and about how she really, she, I think it’s only been in the last year that she said that she’s really learned to do and appreciates how good it is for her.
29:20 I really believe that. I believe that, um, it’s probably on my list of things that I want to start learning and incorporating as a daily habit because I truly believe that slowing down and being able to be still is something that a lot of people a could benefit from and be struggle with. And it is that free your mind. Yeah. But it’s what is going to be, yeah. But it’s freeing of everything. It’s not set in vet, you know, and watching tv. Right. It’s actively freeing your mind. Right. It’s, uh, and it’s a skill. I mean, let’s be honest, it’s a skill. I know I’m not good at it and I definitely need to, I want to ramp up. Yeah. Well it’s on that area. But you say you practice meditation, you don’t, it’s a thing, you practice it. So it’s a continual learning.
30:10 Right, right. So I like this too, asking questions and debating both sides, force you to focus your mind and think quickly. So I think that’s a really good idea. Just in general, you know, don’t always let your brain, uh, and especially in this self-coaching stuff that I’ve been really learning and diving into, just not accepting whatever your brain throws out there at face value, but being able to be, uh, how does, how do we say it? Like you’re, you’re not, uh, invested and not in the, in the answer. So you’re, you’re, uh, objective and being able to objectively see, it’s your thoughts and understand that just because you think something doesn’t make it true, which I, if you think about it, you see, you wish somebody was more open minded, right? The phrase itself. Right, right. Explains that. You should look at it from both sides.
31:12 Yeah. Anyway, change your environment to stimulate your mind. Uh, you require new ways of thinking to find your way around, assessed the environment and do what you want. Vacationing in an area where a foreign language is spoken, especially encourages your brain to work harder and in different ways. So there you go. We need to go take a trip to, well, okay, let’s see. I don’t know, like maybe do you speak Italian? I don’t. I speak a little French but not well, I could still say going to France would benefit my mind. Yeah. I don’t speak it well enough to and I can, I’m very sure that I would have no idea whatsoever what they were saying in Japan or Asia. I, you know, so that would be a good challenge as well. Okay. Let’s look at the calendar. All right. Well back to a little bit more reality and a little bit more daily learning and daily habit building.
32:10 As I mentioned earlier, I think that one of the ways that we can really influence our daily habit of learn is by reading. And lots of really good research on why reading is a great way to challenge your brain. But I think it’s also truly one of the easiest habits that you could build if you, if you want it to. Yes. So we’re going to share with you a list of books too that we agree are good books to, I don’t know, different, different, different genres of reading, but things that you might be of interest. But let’s talk about, um, building the habit, building a reading habit and some steps, practical steps on building a reading habit.
33:00 So first and foremost set times, you should have a few set times during the day where you’ll read for at least five to 10 minutes that goes hand in hand with what we’ve talked about from James Clear in terms of making it small, making it easy, right? You don’t need to tell yourself, I’m going to read for an hour or I’m going to read a full book. Exactly, set up just a small block of time that you’re going to read. Uh, no matter what, make it a habit to read during breakfast or lunch and every time that your read, every time you’re, when you go to bed. So again, just building up a habit where you’re reading for start small, you know, and, but make that commitment to yourself that I’m going to read for 10 minutes and that you’re going to do it every day.
33:54 Another great way of making, building a reading habit always carry a book. Yeah. I think the one thing I like is I have Kindle, right? And it’s so easy. So you could be actually caddying 40 books. Right, right. Yeah. So I, I love that. That’s, although some people like a physical book. Yeah, I’m a physical book reader. I’m also an uh, audio book, right. And you can again, like you carry 50 books with me at a time in audible format. So, but it’s certainly in this day and age, very easy to have a book with you all the time. So make a list where, like I said, make a list of books that you want to read and keep it in your journal, uh, you know, in your, in your phone, wherever, and uh, keep a running list and, and cross out ones as you read them, you know, get recommendations from your friends.
34:48 And we’re going to, like I said, we’re going to provide a list of books that you might want to consider and you can also even go as far as to keep that in your email and really, you know, but basically just keeping a list and marking it off. Same thing as with any habit. It’s like a visual tracker. Right. Um, and, and you could do that with your 10 minutes per day as well. Find a quiet place. So find a place in your house or in your world that is going to be comfortable, not like go to sleep comfortable, you know, cause that could be a problem, especially if you’re reading before bed. Uh, and you know, should be, you shouldn’t have, uh, the TV on. You shouldn’t have your computer on, put your phone away and really just focus on reading. Yeah, I read in the bathtub, which is why I don’t use the electronic books because it’s not that good.
35:47 Yeah. Yeah. But uh, you know, it works for me. So if you really want to read more, just if you’re telling yourself you don’t have time, you really probably ought to look at your, well, how you are spending your time, right? So if you’re spending a lot of time watching TV or on the internet, um, again, this is a, an easy place, right, that you could find, yeah, you could replace an hour of TV with an hour of reading, right? So if you’ve got them or if you need to, you know, you could borrow one, I suppose, read to a kid or you could go to a school and read to children over the library, read to kids. Certainly a great way to, um, create habit for you and kids in your life is by modeling it, right? So, um, and there are some great children’s books.
36:43 Let’s be honest. You know, the other thing about reading to children is, you’re leading aloud, like I, I love like my kids that I look after. Yeah. I love and it’s almost like, you know, almost doing an acting class in that because you’re, you’re doing all the different voices and you know, setting the scene, if something’s coming up and then something jumps out, you know, so it’s, you’re really feeding into this whole Mrs. Doubtfire thing, right? You know that, right? I do. I, I love reading to my little kids and seeing their faces when you’re waiting for something to happen. It’s just, it’s so satisfying seeing their little faces and honestly that, you know, going back and rereading a children’s classic book is a really enjoyable way to build a reading habit because you get that memory. Like you read something. I mean, the box car children for me is one of my favorite all time. And that’s one of my little kids, their mum and dad are reading that to them too because it’s it, you get to relive it again, you know? But you can do that with that. Even if you don’t have kids, you can really just read them that again. Yeah.
37:55 So, all right. Keep a log, a similar to a reading list, but the log again doesn’t have the books you’ve read, but the dates and you know, dates and times, and this is just really habit tracking, right? Yeah. And you can, if you have a five for life planner you can certainly just track that time to have it in there as well. Um, go to used book shops. This is a great, I mean, good gosh, we’re really lucky here in Portland because we have Powell’s books, which is the biggest bookshop in the world, right? It’s like, but it’s really, um, but it’s a great way to find, um, discounted books, right?
38:31 Goodwill, another great place to go get books that are discounted, um, have a library day even cheaper than the used bookstore. Go make it a weekly trip and decide you’re going to go to the library. It’s okay. You know? Gosh, there are millions and millions of books. Yeah. And you may find a book that on a subject that you didn’t ever consider. And even if you go to a library and you’re sifting through things, you’ll get people who say, oh, that’s a great book. You should read that. So you’re right, you’re, you’re getting these recommendations from people that you have, you’ve never met before. Right. And, you know, read that to that end. Read Fun and compelling books, even if they aren’t literary masterpieces, they may want to make you read. And that’s your goal. Right? I, I freely admit I am a werewolf vampire, um, fantasy book reader, urban fantasy, you know, and I know those, um, young adult books are, right, full of that stuff, right?
39:38 Yeah. And I don’t, you know, that’s okay because it keeps me reading. I know. Again, it’s back to, it’s not realistic, so therefore it just to make sure mind takes a different place in your brain, in the creative, the creativity. Um, but you know, and then you can, you can intersperse that and I do with self-help books and um, cooking books, things that, you know, there’s a lot of different nonfiction books. Yeah. Yeah. So make it pleasurable. Make your reading time, your favorite time of the day, have, uh, some good coffee with your book because coffee’s good for you. It is. We just talked about that earlier or tea, um, and even though, you know, and maybe a bowl of berries, right? But if you’re an Angela’s house, you get to have some really nice baked treat probably as well. But for Sur for sure make it and made blackberry scones last week. So there you go. There’s the, the blackberries in there, right? Yes. Wow, I missed that.
40:47 So you know, if you really want to put yourself out there, blog about it, right, and you can create your own blog and it’s a great way to build on a habit is to, uh, no matter what habit you’re trying to build, if that’s move, if that’s read what you know, you can, uh, if you put yourself out there on a blog, you’re gonna, it forces your consistency, right? Accountability in its own self. Um, set a high goal. Go ahead. And you know, this is again something where you don’t, if you set out and you, you just put it out there into the world, you can make those steps towards it if you just, if you make it, I guess I should say more not a high goal, a specific goal. Yeah. So I’m, we’re going to talk about, yes, do you want to make those small steps, but those small steps should are a means to an end, right? Should have a carrot out there in the end and have a goal somewhere that you’re headed. Yeah. Have a reading hour or reading day. So this is just something that you could incorporate. Like, you know, you really want to get busy on this habit. You’re just going to set aside a day and you’re going to say, you know what, I’m going to turn off everything today and today it’s going to be reading. Yeah. I find sometimes like if you’re reading a book that you love, that that sometimes happens. Oh, the neglect of everyone else. It’s just too much. You set out to do just, you’re like, oh, I have done that. Yes, I have done that. I won’t say when or where, but it was definitely when my children were at home in school expecting to be fed and no one’s fed, dishes are not done. Oh goodness.
42:36 So, well that is kind of an overview of brain health. Why, uh, building these habits of learning is so important for preventing and helping offset the, uh, physical manifestations of dementia and Alzheimer’s ways that you can increase your neuroplasticity and keep your brain healthy, which will help you live happier longer and they’re all kinda nice ways of doing it. It’s not that it’s not that difficult. It’s lots of little things that just keep your brain ticking over and moving along and theses are nice ways to make a big difference. Worst things that you have to do. And that’s, I think an overriding theme for us. All of our five daily habits that we focus on. Again, doesn’t, you don’t have to be a marathon runner. You have to just have to move some every day, right? You don’t have to become a PhD. You just need to read a little every day or do a puzzle or learn a new habit. Right, and we’re going to get into share and to give and to let go here in the next few weeks. Thank you. As always for spending some time with us. We’ll provide all the those resources in our show notes and we will see you next week.
44:02 Thanks for listening to the live happier, longer podcast. Now it’s time to move, learn, share, give and let go. Five daily habits to make the rest of your life the best of your life. See you next week.
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Episode #6-The Science Behind Sleep, Exercise and Alzheimer’s Prevention