The 2% Solution: 30 Minutes to Transform Your Life

Unlock the Secrets to a Sharp Mind: 8 Daily Habits to Keep Your Brain Healthy as You Age

June 03, 2024 Dai Manuel Season 1 Episode 104
Unlock the Secrets to a Sharp Mind: 8 Daily Habits to Keep Your Brain Healthy as You Age
The 2% Solution: 30 Minutes to Transform Your Life
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The 2% Solution: 30 Minutes to Transform Your Life
Unlock the Secrets to a Sharp Mind: 8 Daily Habits to Keep Your Brain Healthy as You Age
Jun 03, 2024 Season 1 Episode 104
Dai Manuel

TEXT ME here - Have a question? Comment? Feedback? I’d love to hear from you.

What if you could unlock the secrets to a sharper mind by tweaking your daily habits?

Today, on the 2% Solution with Dai Manuel, we uncover 8 scientifically-backed habits that boost physical health and are crucial for maintaining cognitive vitality as we age.

Starting with the undeniable benefits of regular physical activity, Dai shares his anecdotes about how a quick workout can elevate mood and mental clarity, making exercise an indispensable part of a healthy routine.

Learn how activities like a brisk walk, light swim, or even a spontaneous dance session can significantly reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

But we don’t stop there!

We delve into the power of lifelong learning and its impact on brain health.

Drawing on research from Harvard Medical School, Dai discusses how continuous education through reading, online courses, or new hobbies can keep our brains engaged and healthy.

Dai himself is a passionate learner and poses a thought-provoking question to our listeners: What's something new that you've learned recently?

Tune in to discover how to integrate these habits into your life, ensuring your mind stays vibrant well into your golden years.

List of Resources/Websites for Brain Health 

  1. American Heart Association 
  2. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  3.  National Institute on Aging
  4. National Sleep Foundation
  5. Harvard Medical School
  6.  Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)
  7. Mayo Clinic
  8. Blue Zones



Support the Show.



A Message from Dai, host of the 2% Solution Podcast:

Hey there, you fantastic listener! 👋

As we wrap up another episode of The 2% Solution Podcast, I want to throw a massive, confetti-filled THANK YOU your way.

As we launch this podcast, your support is like getting an extra espresso in your Venti Americano—unexpected and refreshing!

Your reviews? They're like high-fives to my soul. Your shares? They're spreading more joy than cat videos on the internet. Subscribing? You're officially the coolest in my book.

Meeting in the 2% Collective Community? It's like watching a garden of awesomeness bloom – and you're all the sunflowers making it happen!

Keep being the amazing, 2%-improving rockstars that you are.

🌟 Stay fabulous, stay tuned, and stay 2%! 🚀

Love, laughs, and much gratitude,

Dai M.

P.S. I'm primarily active on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Feel free to connect and start a conversation. If you're searching for inspiring, motivational, educational, and healthy living content, check out my over 1500 articles at DaiManuel.com - I enjoy writing, okay? lol

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Show Notes Transcript

TEXT ME here - Have a question? Comment? Feedback? I’d love to hear from you.

What if you could unlock the secrets to a sharper mind by tweaking your daily habits?

Today, on the 2% Solution with Dai Manuel, we uncover 8 scientifically-backed habits that boost physical health and are crucial for maintaining cognitive vitality as we age.

Starting with the undeniable benefits of regular physical activity, Dai shares his anecdotes about how a quick workout can elevate mood and mental clarity, making exercise an indispensable part of a healthy routine.

Learn how activities like a brisk walk, light swim, or even a spontaneous dance session can significantly reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

But we don’t stop there!

We delve into the power of lifelong learning and its impact on brain health.

Drawing on research from Harvard Medical School, Dai discusses how continuous education through reading, online courses, or new hobbies can keep our brains engaged and healthy.

Dai himself is a passionate learner and poses a thought-provoking question to our listeners: What's something new that you've learned recently?

Tune in to discover how to integrate these habits into your life, ensuring your mind stays vibrant well into your golden years.

List of Resources/Websites for Brain Health 

  1. American Heart Association 
  2. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  3.  National Institute on Aging
  4. National Sleep Foundation
  5. Harvard Medical School
  6.  Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)
  7. Mayo Clinic
  8. Blue Zones



Support the Show.



A Message from Dai, host of the 2% Solution Podcast:

Hey there, you fantastic listener! 👋

As we wrap up another episode of The 2% Solution Podcast, I want to throw a massive, confetti-filled THANK YOU your way.

As we launch this podcast, your support is like getting an extra espresso in your Venti Americano—unexpected and refreshing!

Your reviews? They're like high-fives to my soul. Your shares? They're spreading more joy than cat videos on the internet. Subscribing? You're officially the coolest in my book.

Meeting in the 2% Collective Community? It's like watching a garden of awesomeness bloom – and you're all the sunflowers making it happen!

Keep being the amazing, 2%-improving rockstars that you are.

🌟 Stay fabulous, stay tuned, and stay 2%! 🚀

Love, laughs, and much gratitude,

Dai M.

P.S. I'm primarily active on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Feel free to connect and start a conversation. If you're searching for inspiring, motivational, educational, and healthy living content, check out my over 1500 articles at DaiManuel.com - I enjoy writing, okay? lol

Dai Manuel:

Hey there, wellness warriors, welcome back to another episode of the 2% Solution. I'm Di Manuel, and today, on Mental Health Monday, we're diving into the secrets of keeping our mind sharp as we age. Today's theme is the eight daily habits proven to help maintain your brain as you age, as you get older. Because, you know, if you look at a lot of the stats and data out there, brain health is critical to maintain vitality as we age. So a lot of what allows that is the habits. Right, because it's the things that we do, and the things that we do regularly, that ultimately form and create a lot of the results that we experience in life. And these habits are backed by science, all right, and today we're going to talk about how they can help us mentally be more agile and vibrant well into our golden years and beyond. So let's dive right in Question. Have you ever wondered why some people stay mentally sharp well into their seventies and beyond while others don't? Well, it turns out there are certain habits and lifestyle choices that contribute to this longevity, and today I'm going to break down these habits by science because you know that's how I roll to help you incorporate them into your daily life. So let's get started.

Dai Manuel:

First, let's talk about regular physical activity. I mean, if you haven't figured that out by now, right, and what I mean by that? I'm not trying to be facetious, I'm not trying to be cruel or mean or judgmental, but I think we all agree that we know that when we move our bodies and we move it with purpose, you know some intentionality to create a positive effect or result, especially how we feel about ourselves internally and externally. Physical activity we know working out I'm only ever one workout away from feeling better than I am right now. So let's talk about the importance of regular physical activity. Exercise isn't just good for your body, it's amazing for your brain and, according to the American Heart Association, regular physical activity can significantly reduce the risk of cognitive decline. So this could be like a brisk walk, maybe a light swim, a yoga session I mean, geez, go on YouTube and type in yoga session. You've got millions of options right in front of you that you can do right in front of your TV at home. Or maybe just getting your body moving, period, I don't care how you move it. Throw on your favorite music on your iTunes, you know, and get your dance walk on. This will keep your mind sharp. I have experienced this firsthand. Keep your mind sharp. I've experienced this firsthand Whenever I'm feeling sluggish or foggy mentally, a quick workout will make all the difference.

Dai Manuel:

For me, it's usually. I like to go for a quick bike ride, even if it's just 30 minutes, and I go for a ride around Stanley Park. For those that aren't aware of Vancouver and downtown Vancouver, we have this park called Stanley Park. Beautiful Seawall goes around the outside, and that's the advantage. Living downtown Vancouver, we have this park called Stanley Park. Beautiful Seawall goes around the outside, and that's the advantage. Living downtown Vancouver, my backyard is the seawall and so if I find myself with a one hour in between calls, I'll just get out for a quick half hour bike, half an hour in the sun, getting some fresh air, getting my heart rate elevated, getting a little sweat on Holy smokes. I come back and I feel on point.

Dai Manuel:

Some of my best podcasts and interviews and conversations have occurred right after a workout. So find an activity you love and make it a regular part of your routine. Your body's not only going to think, your brain will too. Now also, I want to talk about lifelong learning. Let's dive into the cognitive benefits of this idea of lifelong learning. Engaging in continuous learning keeps your brain engaged and healthy. Now, harvard Medical School found that activities like reading, taking online courses, learning new skills can help maintain cognitive function as we age.

Dai Manuel:

Personally, I'm always looking for new things to learn, whether it's a new book, maybe an online class or webinar. Right, I'm teaching me something new that I didn't know before about training or nutrition or mental health, even picking up a new hobby. Keeping my mind active is a priority. How about you? What's something new that you've learned recently? I'd love to hear about it. Connect with me on Instagram, diamond Wall. Shoot me a DM. Let me know what you're working on. What are you passionate about? How are you exercising that brain of yours Now? I'd be remiss if I didn't mention healthy diet Nutrition.

Dai Manuel:

Healthy diet is crucial for brain health. Research shows that diets rich in antioxidants, especially omega-3s, fatty acids and vitamins, can significantly impact cognitive function. The Mediterranean diet, for example, has been linked to better brain health and reduced risk of cognitive decline. It's one of the best diets out there. Year after year, we're seeing it in a lot of publications getting ranked as one of the best ways to nourish oneself. We also know that in the blue zones. The Mediterranean diet or diets like the Mediterranean diet, are attached to longevity results. Right, we see these people living to be 100 plus years old. Not only do they practice a little bit of intermittent fasting, but they also have a very much a whole food diet that reflects foods that you would find in the Mediterranean. It's been linked to better brain health and reduced risk of cognitive decline. That is the big upside, not to mention it's really tasty.

Dai Manuel:

I love incorporating brain boosting foods into my meals. Think leafy greens, berries, nuts, fatty fish. These foods are not only delicious, but it's also incredibly beneficial to the brain. Example walnuts. What does a walnut look like? Take half a walnut. What does it look like? I know you're yelling at the radio, the phone or wherever you're listening to this. You're probably yelling brain. It looks like a brain. It does. And did you know that walnuts are one of the healthiest nuts you can eat for brain health? Yeah, makes sense. It looks like a little brain. Anyways, another little use of a tidbit of information. Go ahead and you can use that one any way you want. Anyways, let's go on to the next one.

Dai Manuel:

Number four social interactions. These play a huge role in maintaining brain health National Institute on Aging found that regular social engagement can help reduce the risk of cognitive decline as well. Staying connected with friends and family, joining clubs and volunteering are great ways to keep your social life alive and active. I always make time for social interactions at least most of the time Depends. Sometimes I have heavy days and I don't want to be, you know, social, but for the most part I really do enjoy it, you know, whether it's a simple coffee date with a friend or maybe a small family gathering, these moments of connection are vital. Vital for our mental well-being, and I know I always feel better when I feel connected to my family. And when I'm not feeling connected to my family, it's amazing how other things creep in that affect my mental well-being, my physical health, my emotional health, because everything's connected. But those social interactions are critical.

Dai Manuel:

Now, number five adequate sleep. I mean, gosh, come on. We've heard about this. I've already done a couple episodes. I mentioned sleep quite regularly, but we can't forget about the importance of it. Quality sleep is essential for cognitive health. National Sleep Foundation highlights that good sleep hygiene can enhance brain function and reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

Dai Manuel:

For me, getting enough sleep is non-negotiable. I found that maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, creating a relaxing bedtime routine. I found that maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, creating a relaxing bedtime routine it makes all the difference, but it's consistency that matters most. How's your sleep these days? Do you have a routine around that? What's it look like? Is it creating the result that you want and when I say result that you want, the easiest one to note? When you wake up in the morning, are you wishing that you could go back to bed? Are you excited to go and attack the day? Well, I'm hoping it's the latter, because if it's not the latter, well, there's probably some room for improvement. All right, so keep keep that in mind.

Dai Manuel:

Now, number six mindfulness and meditation. Oh man, I I do sound like a broken record. I know I've mentioned this numerous times in our first hundred episodes, but I'm going to say it again because it needs to be heard. Mindfulness and meditation are powerful tools for your brain. Studies from Harvard Medical School show that mindfulness practices can improve brain health by reducing stress and again enhances your cognitive abilities and resiliency.

Dai Manuel:

I've incorporated mindfulness into my daily routine with simple practices like meditation, deep breathing. One of my favorites is just walking meditation. I get out for a walk. I play some very simple binaural beats and my tunes and I just focus on my breath and my feet, you know, my feet making contact on the ground, on the seawall, as I'm walking, mindful on the sun on my face, the wind in my hair, just really trying to be present to the moment. It doesn't take long. I can go for a quick 10, 15-minute power walk and it's enough to give me that little bit of a positive shift.

Dai Manuel:

But it's got to be consistent and what works for one person doesn't mean it might work for you. But we can't forgo the science and there's been some pretty impressive studies around this benefits of mindfulness, meditation. So, even though you may have tried this before and you're screaming at me right now through the device saying it doesn't work for me, meditation, blah, blah, blah. I get it, but there's like 101 different ways that you can practice mindfulness or meditation or both. Don't just stop because you've came to one and it didn't work for you or didn't quite click or made you more frustrated, you know, rather than more relaxed. Try a different one.

Dai Manuel:

There's a great free app called Insight Timer. I'll link to it in the show notes. It's one of my favorite tools. One of my favorite apps for meditation and a lot of it is just a crowdsource, so a lot of people are contributing their own content. So you get a lot of these very aware people, professionals working in these spaces guiding these types of meditations, and they just post this stuff so you can access the content. And so guided meditation is a great way to get started. Even if it's just a three minute breathwork guided meditation, trust me, in three minutes you'll notice the shift. That's what matters most, because that's accessible anytime you need it. It's a great way to center yourself but also boost that mental clarity.

Dai Manuel:

Now moving on, we've got a couple more to go. Cognitive exercises is a big one. Keeping your brain active with those types of exercises that exercise the brain is a key habit. I invite you to consider Activities like puzzles. Games. Brain training apps can help maintain cognitive function. In fact, the Journal of the American Medical Association found that cognitive stimulation can slow down the decline that we often see or experience as we age.

Dai Manuel:

I love, love, love doing crossword puzzles, so much so that I often buy the newspaper. You don't even read the paper, I do it. I buy it for the crossword puzzle. Probably not the best way to spend, you know, two or three bucks, but I love the crossword puzzle on the paper right, or even for some. I'm not a big fan of Sudoku. I've tried it, but you know, me and math don't seem to work as well, and I haven't quite figured out Sudoku. I've been trying, but crosswords are my go-to. These activities are not only fun but they're great for keeping your brain sharp. So maybe looking to incorporate something like that into your regular routine will be just enough to keep you sharp as you get older.

Dai Manuel:

Now, the last habit is the positive attitude. All right, it's the last, but it's not the least, that's for sure, because maintaining a positive attitude is crucial for brain health. The Mayo Clinic reports that a positive outlook can enhance cognitive function and overall mental health. Cultivating positivity is something I strive for every single day, whether it's through gratitude journaling or simply focusing on the good in each day, positive mindset can make a world of difference. That's all for today's episode. My wellness warriors Remember. These eight daily habits can significantly enhance your brain health as you get older and by incorporating physical activity, lifelong learning, healthy diet, social interactions, adequate sleep, a little bit of mindfulness, a few little games and cognitive exercises, but, most importantly, that positive attitude into your daily routine. You get these little things happening a little bit more frequently. You're setting yourself up for long-term mental agility but, more importantly, well-being.

Dai Manuel:

Before we go, I'd love to hear your feedback stories. You know suggestions. What topics do you want to see covered in a future episode? Is there any guests that you've come across that you'd love for me to host on the show? Your input helps shape the future of this podcast. Follow us on Instagram, facebook, tiktok even I'm still trying, I'm trying. I'm not as consistent on that platform yet, but I'm working on it and also all the other usual places to stay updated and join the conversation. If you're enjoying the podcast, a review and subscription would mean the world to me. Thank you for being a part of this incredible journey. Here's to the next 100 episodes and beyond. Keep pushing your limits, stay positive and always aim to improve by just 2% every day. I'm Diamond Wall and you've been listening to the 2% Solution. Let's keep thriving together and I'll see you next time.

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