Elizabeth Amini – TRANSCRIPT
I’m super excited to be here. I’m a big fan of TED and TEDx. I think these events are wonderful.
So, I’m the CEO and one of the co-founders of Anti-AgingGames.com, and today I’m going to give you the top ten tips to keep your brain young. There’re tips to help reduce your risk of early memory loss.
And what I want you to do is, if you like the tips, I’d like you to share them with as many people as possible, with friends and family. I’m actually going to show you the website where you can get a copy of the tips.
So don’t worry too much about taking notes. My scientists and I literally went through 17,000 studies to come up with the tips that I’m going to share with you today, as well as the tips that are in our games and on our site.
But before we start, I want to tell you a few things.
First off, I’m not a doctor. I make games for a living. So, this is not medical advice. This is simply a starting point for you to speak with about your future health with your doctor.
Secondly, it’s all good news. So don’t worry, I’m not going to terrify you with anything.
Third, I’m not here to sell you anything. We’re actually going to give you a VIP code so you can have free access to the games. So, don’t worry, no supplements, no snake-oil, nothing like that. Just pure tips with no ulterior motive.
So let me give you the e-mail. If you actually send an e-mail to Tips@Anti-Aging-Games.com, you’ll get a copy of the tips as well as a link to see all of the tips on the website.
Or you can just go to Anti-AgingGamescom and click on the brain tips section. So this whole thing started four or five years ago when one of my friends’ mom got Alzheimer’s. And while I was watching my friend deal with this and just struggling with it emotionally, physically, financially, I noticed that there is this unspoken, but very deep belief that she, too, was going to get Alzheimer’s, that it was entirely genetic, that she was doomed to have this happen too eventually. And that’s just not true. That is absolutely not true.
Depending on who you ask, only 5% to 8% of Alzheimer’s is linked to a single gene to begin with. There is a study that shows that, when you have two identical twins, and one gets Alzheimer’s – they’re identical twins, you expect the other one to get Alzheimer’s 100% of the time, that doesn’t happen 21% of the time, the other twin doesn’t get Alzheimer’s or gets it so much later that it’s unrelated to that genetic basis.
So I’m here to tell you about that 21%, and what lifestyle changes you can make to actually help reduce your risk of early memory loss. And the good news is, everything that I’m going to tell you, it’s easy, it’s free, and you can do it starting today.
So without a further ado I will talk about the first tip. The first tip, and if you walk away with nothing else, just walk away with this one: fast walking is fantastic for your brain and your heart. So fast walking 30 minutes a day, five times a week, is linked to 33% less Alzheimer’s. If you actually include vigorous aerobic exercises that get your heart rate up, three times a week, at least 20 minutes, that actually reduces your risk down to 50%.
So, fantastic news. If you can’t walk comfortably, what you want to do is water walking, cross-country skiing, or if you know someone in a wheelchair, tell them to use a hand wheel. Any aerobic activity that basically pushes the blood into your brain faster, pushes the oxygen and nutrients into your brain faster helps things repair, pushes the waste out of your brain. That is fantastic for you.
You doctor will tell you that if you have an exercise at all, what’s really important is for you to just start getting into consistent exercises. So you may start with 10 minutes a day. I don’t know about you, but I’m incredibly lazy when it comes to exercising. Just incredibly lazy. Exercising for the sake of vanity never motivated me, because I just figure plus or minus ten, twenty pounds, who cares? It’s true.
It’s just not motivating. But when I read this study, avoiding Alzheimer’s, and maintaining your freedom and independence later on a life, hugely motivating. So I started walking, and I got to tell you, it increases your energy, you drop weight, and you just feel so much healthier and happier. So definitely recommend that.
Second tip is to play mentally engaging games. Studies show that any kind of learning, any kind of mind engaging game play is fantastic for you. The keys are that has to be interactive, mind engaging, it’s extra good if it’s fun. So passive entertainment, is like watching TV or daytime napping. Interactive entertainment includes playing brain fitness games, like on Anti-AgingGames.com.
But you actually don’t even need our games. Any kind of learning is fantastic for you. So, you can play chess. You can play bridge. You can learn a new instrument, a complicated dance or language. If there’s a social component or physical component, even better. So learn ballroom dancing. What’s funny is you don’t actually have to be good at it at all. So you can try Tae-Bo dancing, flamenco, guitar, it doesn’t really matter. You’re doing different things than what you usually do during the day, so your brain is growing new neural connections, and it’s just fantastic for you.
Third tip: avoid poisons. Everybody knows about lead in smoking. What you may not know is that smoking in midlife doubles the rate of dementia later. And what I didn’t know was that even an occasional cigarette, the social cigarette or social cigar, causes your capillaries to act like they’re being poisoned because guess what? They’re being poisoned. You want to avoid that.
You also want to avoid – the jury’s out on aluminum, they don’t know if these things are inconclusive, but if you can avoid it, please do. You also want to avoid toxic substances in your everyday life. There’s a website called cosmeticsdatabase.com, and you can literally put in your shampoo, your toothpaste, your soap, your makeup, your sunscreen, and all of your cleaning products, and it pops out how toxic it is on a scale to one to ten, and you can find out what’s toxic and what’s a safer alternative to the things you’re using.
Fourth tip: being social is incredibly good for you. There’s a Harvard study that shows that people who have five social ties, and the people who they spend time with, who they really enjoy, – the people at work don’t count, you don’t really enjoy them if you’re honest with yourself – So, spend time with those people. That people that didn’t have half the rate of cognitive decline, as the people who were the most isolated. Isolation is terrible for human beings. So, super important that you stay social. If you don’t have a lot of friends, if you just moved, if your friends are negative and you’re getting rid of them after the last tips that I tell you, try looking at places like the Red Hat Society, the American Association of University Women. I’m sure there are men’s groups that are equivalent, but I don’t know what they are. Co-ed groups.
Also, volunteering is a fantastic place to meet really high quality new friends. VolunteerMatch.org is great. Idealist.org. If you’re in LA, laworks.com has a lot of projects; phenomenal place.
Next is having a purpose and life direction is fantastic for you. Researchers at Rush University Medical Center found that the people with the highest purpose and life direction had 24 times less dementia than the people with the lowest. What this means for you is you can pick any cause outside of your immediate circle, of yourself, your friends, your family, and your acquaintances, any cause that’s important to you.