3 Tips To
KEEP YOUR BRAIN YOUNG
What if I told you that no matter how young or old you are, you have the power to change your brain and reprogram your happiness, mood, focus, memory, and even your relationships?
Dr. Daniel Amen has been on a mission for the past 30 years to teach the world how to be the master of your brain’s destiny. He insists that spending just three to five minutes a day dedicated to improving your brain health can help you prevent the major risk factors shown to impact your mind.
Ranking high on his list of tips is… get 7-9 quality hours of sleep each night, eat more vegetables, and enjoy nature. Beyond those, here are three of Daniel Amen’s brain tips I’ve started incorporating lately…
Lose the list. Using mnemonics (triggers to aid memory using visual imagery or sounds, such as rhyming) is a great way to boost your brain while developing a system to remember things. There are several great memory courses available on audio or video recordings, often at local libraries or online.
Learn a new language. Learning a new language requires that you analyze new sounds, which improves not only auditory-processing skills but also memory.
Online brain-training games such as our brain gym at BrainFitLife can be quite helpful in keeping your brain fit. Spend about 10 minutes a day doing these fun games, and see if you don’t find your brain beginning to process better and faster.
Dr. Daniel Amen
CHANGE YOUR BRAIN EVERY DAY
TO WATCH, CLICK PLAY BELOW!
What if I told you that no matter how young or old you are, you have the power to change your brain and reprogram your happiness, mood, focus, memory, and even your relationships?
For over 30 years, today’s NEW podcast guest Dr. Daniel Amen has been on a mission to teach the world how to be the master of your brain’s destiny.
His upcoming book, Change Your Brain Every Day includes simple daily practices to strengthen your mind, memory, moods, focus, energy, habits, and relationships. It will be released next month, and you can pre-order it now on Amazon.
Your brain controls everything you do and everything you are. Each day it is either getting sharper and growing younger, or it is getting worse and growing older. You have the choice, and it all depends on your daily diet, supplements, thoughts, decisions, and habits.
Dr. Amen is a physician, board-certified child and adult psychiatrist, and 12-time New York Times bestselling author. He is the founder and CEO of Amen Clinics, which has the world’s largest database of functional brain scans relating to behavior.
In today’s episode, you’ll discover…
- Ways to challenge your brain that will help improve focus, memory, and executive function
- How to adjust your brain’s automatic negative thoughts and change your relationship to the story you’re telling yourself
- What happens to your brain’s neurotransmitters or “brain chemicals” as you age, and why it’s important to understand them
- The purpose of nootropics and how they manipulate your neurotransmitters to feel happy, calm, focused, and loved
FOLLOW ALONG WITH THE TRANSCRIPT
[00:00:00] Kathy Smith: Hi, I’m Kathy Smith, and welcome to On Health: The Art of Living, where I bring you the latest information — how to live a healthier, more vibrant, more passion-driven life. So what if I told you that no matter how old or young you are, you have the power to change your brain and reprogram your happiness, your mood, your focus, your memory, even your relationships. So for over 30 years, our next guest Dr. Amen has been on a mission to teach the world how to master and how to make you the master of your brain’s destiny.
Now, I’m sure you’ve heard of Daniel Amen. The Washington Post calls Daniel the most popular psychiatrist in America, and that’s saying a lot. His online videos have had more than 150 million views. He ends his videos and lectures, and I love this, when I heard that he ends his videos and lectures a lot of times with these powerful words. You are not stuck with the brain you have. You can make it better, even if you’ve been bad to it. And I know I’ve done some pretty bad things to my brain. So I can’t wait to talk to him about that. But you can literally change your brain and when you do, you change your life. You see, your brain controls everything you do and everything you are. So each day, you’re either getting sharper and growing younger, or your brain is getting worse and you’re growing older. You have the choice and it depends on a few things and we’re going to talk with David something about diets, supplements, thoughts, decisions, habits.
So, Dr. Amen is a physician, board certified child and adult psychiatrist. And he’s a 12 time New York Times best-selling author. He’s the founder and CEO of the Amen Clinics, which has the world’s largest database of functional brain scans relating to behavior. So now the good news is he’s got a new book coming out. It’s called Change Your Brain Every Day. And it includes simple daily practices [00:02:00] to strengthen your mind, your memory, your mood, your focus, your habits. It’s going to be released on March 21st, and the good news is you can preorder the book right now, and I’m pretty sure we’ll check with him, but it’s on Amazon. So Daniel, welcome to the show.
Dr. Amen: Hi, Kathy. What a joy to see you.
Kathy Smith: Yeah, it really has been too long, but I remember our first meeting in Canada, and you being on my podcast and with your wonderful wife. So it’s good to have you back. And, boy, you have been a busy beaver. I’m talking about everything I read about what you’re doing, and now with the new book. Before we jump into all that, it’s interesting, your bio, and when you read about you, a lot of times, they talk about the 225,000 SPEC scans that you’ve taken from patients all over the world in a 150 different countries. You’ve worked with celebrities, including Justin Bieber, and Ariana Grande. And this focus on the brain and these SPECT scans. But as I was researching, what’s the difference between a SPECT scan and let’s say an MRI, and what does a SPECT scan tell you?
Dr. Amen: So, SPECT is a nuclear medicine study that looks at blood flow and activity. It looks at how your brain works. A CAT scan or an MRI look at the brain structure. So what it physically looks like. SPECT looks at how the brain functions. And it basically tells us three things, good activity, too little, or too much. And then my job becomes balancing it. If it works too hard, because you had COVID and you have inflammation in your brain, our job is to calm it down, or you had emotional trauma. [00:04:00] But if it doesn’t work hard enough, we need to stimulate it. And it’s been the most exciting thing in my life to actually look at the organ we treat. So most psychiatrists make diagnoses based on symptom clusters with no biological data. Think about that. That’s insane. And for the last 30 years, I’ve looked at the brain and it’s just taught me so much. I hate the term mental illness, it shames people, it’s stigmatizing. And it’s wrong. They’re brain health issues. If you are depressed or if you’re angry or you’re anxious, those are functions or dysfunctions of the brain. And if I can balance your brain, you’re happier. Your mood is better. Your relationships are better. And you do less bad things to it. Because you care about it?
Kathy Smith: Well, you talk about if you can balance the brain, and your book, which by the way, is brilliant the way you’ve laid it out, one day at a time, a different exercise, a different focus each day. But through the course of the book, it’s about, you dive into, how do we balance the brain? Because we can talk about our problems. We can talk about what’s not right. We can talk about our issues. But then, what I’m always about is news you can use, how do I do something about changing it? So why did you decide? I mean, I’ve read your other books. I mean, you’ve got the book with Mark Hyman and Rick Warren that you did, which was number one Times New York’s bestselling book. You’ve done so many books. A new book, what motivated you to go to write a new one, first of all, and to go this direction of, like, the one step at a time, one day at a time for 365 days.
Dr. Amen: Well, what I realized [00:06:00] during the pandemic is that brain health, mental health, or daily practices, right, when we’re being assaulted with the virus, the negative news, the political divide, the societal unrest, is if you’re going to survive the craziness, you have to have daily practices. And you know this, like physical health. The only way you look as good as you do is you’ve been serious for a long time. It’s more daily practices. Right? Spiritual health is a daily practice. Well, so is brain and mental health. They’re daily practices. But there’s nowhere in school where they teach you to love and care for your brain, and they teach you the right habits. And so I’ve been the psychiatrist for 42 years now. And I get it. If you do the things I ask you to do, you’re going to feel a whole bunch better. And the first simple daily practice is whenever you come to a decision point in your day, just ask yourself, is this good for my brain or bad for it? And all you have to do is know the list. This is good. This is bad. And if you love yourself, this is so important. There’s a day where I talk about the one thing. And the one thing is when you do the right thing, be proud of yourself, praise yourself, nurture yourself, love yourself, and kick your butt when you do the wrong thing. Too often people go, oh, I can’t have this and I can’t have that. And it’s that four year old mindset that completely ruins brain health. And Drew Carey said it best. I love he lost a lot of weight. He was a comedian, lost a lot of weight. And he said something so [00:08:00] profound. He said, eating crappy food isn’t a reward. It’s a punishment. And when you can get that mindset, and just ask yourself, is this good for my brain or bad for it? Your brain is going to get better every day.
Kathy Smith: Yeah. I agree with all of what you’re saying, and the one thing though that it does bring up and you talk about in the book, is that, yeah, you qualify but when you love yourself, when you have loving thoughts, but so many of us, I mean, all of us, I would say, have these repetitive thoughts. And I’m a big believer and I think your book emphasizes that the way we talk to ourselves really matters. You know, we have to pay attention to this inner voice and this running dialogue that we have, I’m not good enough. I’m not skinny enough. I’m not smart enough. I’m not this. I’m going to get sick. I’m going to die. Whatever. And it’s not just current things. What I found, I’m going to tell one quick story and I’ll let you dive into this, because I love how you have in your book this. You call it, ANT, this automatic negative thinking. And to start to practice, to minimize, to notice, first of all, become mindful, then to minimize or shift them. But an example for me is I lost my parents as a teenager. And there was a real abandonment issues. I mean, they died and it was difficult time. But no matter how old, this is 50 years later, I have worked on it, but I can still become the victim or feel abandoned if somebody leave somehow or if I feel rejected in some way, instead of just being, and it could be a tiny, tiny little rejection, nothing big. [00:10:00] But it can send me into that abandonment loop. And so you delve into this a lot in the book, which I appreciate. Can you talk about it a little bit?
Dr. Amen: Well, so what you experienced was severe emotional trauma. And if I scanned you, we’d likely see a trauma imprint in your brain. And so I don’t know if you ever had EMDR. It’s a treatment I just love. Stands for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. So I would have you bring up the last time you were abandoned. Do the protocol. It’s bilateral hemisphere stimulation. It’s so interesting. And not ever avoid the feeling, but go right into it while we’re doing this stimulation. And for so many people, it’s so helpful. Have you ever done that?
Kathy Smith: I haven’t, but I’ve heard a lot about it, especially with people with post-traumatic stress, which I guess you’re saying, that would be.
Dr. Amen: It’s traumatic, right? I mean, you don’t have to have the diagnosis to be suffering. And if you notice that trigger 50 years later, it’s like, well, let’s go into the trigger. And you’ll probably find a whole bunch more. But I can’t believe how fast it is. I mean, I can’t believe it, because I see it when I do it. And it’s just so powerful that it could just help the past not live in the present. So you’ll still remember it and you’ll still be sad about it, but it won’t have to trigger you. I had one woman. I went to Miami to watch Miley Cyrus, who’s also my patient, [00:12:00] perform for NBC. Her and Dolly Parton just were amazing.
Kathy Smith: Oh my god. I saw the New Year’s Eve special. Was it New Year’s Eve?
Dr. Amen: Yeah. I would say she was so good. I’m so proud of her because she loves her brain. And I tell a story about her in the book. At the beginning of the pandemic. But one of the people close to us was afraid to fly. And she even bought her boyfriend a ticket on another flight so her boyfriend didn’t have to watch her be crazy when she got on the plane. And, literally, we did one session of the EMDR. Now, traveling anxiety has been her thing for 30 years. One session of EMDR her boyfriend went with her. She was calm. She was happy. She wasn’t tortured. And it’s not like that for everybody, but I’ve seen enough of those stories where you don’t have to live with the past in front of you. You can put it behind you. And in the book I talk about the trauma dragon. You know, I talk about all the dragons from the past that still breathe fire on our emotional brain. And the wounded dragon is the one that holds our trauma. And we all have it.
Kathy Smith: Well, and you give some great techniques including breathing and mindful loving awareness, meditation, exercise, can all be tools that you use to help tame the dragons. But at the end, and I think I want to point out for the audience is that at the end of every day, there’s a little exercise. And I think that’s the important part of the book, because it’s interactive. [00:14:00] You jump in and you ask a question. And a person has to take– I had to take, it can be two minutes, three minutes. And what I also like about the book, and I’m assuming you want people to use it like this. You don’t have to do it day by day. You might spend three days on a certain technique or something so that you really delve into it if it speaks to you. Certain things didn’t speak to me as much like brain trauma with concussions, let’s say, but others were really like this is life changing. And so I really appreciate the way you’ve laid out the book, and I’m sure there was a method to your madness there. I’m sure you’ve learned through the years that this is the way that people learn.
Dr. Amen: Yeah. Tiny habits. What are the simple, small things I can do that’ll make the biggest difference? The other thing that just came up with trauma, and I tell this story in the book is there’s another form of bilateral hemisphere stimulation called [00:15:05 -inaudible], where you either rub your hands together or my favorite one is grab your shoulders and just stroke down while you bring up the trauma. So whenever you get triggered, do this for 30 seconds up to six times. And then follow where your brain goes. So for example, almost three years ago, my dad died. And it was during the pandemic, and he’d had COVID, and he beat COVID, but then we all know COVID activates Epstein Barr. And he got super tired. And anyways, it was a bad day, May 5th of 2020. And I remember going over my mom’s house a couple of days later, and someone had put a picture of my dead dad, in the mortuary, [00:16:00] in a stack of papers.
And I remember going through this stack, helping my mom, and just being shocked at seeing that picture. And then being furious, like, what idiot would put a picture of my dead dad in a stack of papers? And it just started to circle in my head. And about four hours later, I’m thinking of myself, you treat people that have this problem. What do you tell them to do? And so I sat and thought about. So I went into the pain, and I [00:16:40 -inaudible]. And after 30 seconds, on a scale of 0 to 10, it was a 10. I was raw. Because my dad had just died and I was sad. And after 30 seconds, it was like a six, upsetting. And after three sessions, it was a zero. And I did it three more just to see where it would go. And then I fell in love with the picture. Because it was the last picture of my dad on earth. And there’s nowhere in school where they teach us how to manage powerful negative emotions and change your brain every day. It spends a lot of time on trauma because I think trauma is a major cause of psychiatric stuff.
Kathy Smith: First of all, beautiful story. So thank you for sharing that. And as you were telling it, I felt the shift from being uptight and anxious about it, and then settling into it. And at one point, then as you say, now you’re loving this picture and can appreciate the experience. And I also agree that for everybody on the planet, but as you age, and as you’ve gone through [00:18:00] stuff, life, right? Relations, divorces, for closures, COVID, ups-downs, ins-out, and health issues. Forget about COVID. Let’s put that aside for right now. That’s huge. But as you age– I have four friends coming to Sundance this weekend. Out of the four, all females, all 55 to 65, three of the four now have some sort of little issue. You know, an inner ear ringing that’s a stability issue. You know, another one got up and slipped and broke her foot a little bit. Another one is experiencing some things in intestinal tract, and things start to happen.
And I think we can take care of ourselves and obviously that’s what I’m preaching all the time. But part of taking care of ourselves, and I don’t know, I guess, with you on the podcast. The biggest part is taking care of the brain because the brain is command central. And I start to watch people’s energies and going from positive to negative to that I can, that I cannot. And that shift that kind of happens with aging. I think we can push back upon. And one of the things– and I’ll turn it back to you, but one of the things I’m a big believer in exercise is that you have to push outside your comfort zone. If you want to build your endurance, grow your muscles, build your stamina, help with your build balance. It’s like you have to push yourself a little bit in that discomfort zone to actually improve. And what I’m seeing in your book, if I’m understanding correctly, much the same thing you have to do with your brain when it comes to maintaining memory, executive function, things like this. You have to challenge yourself in ways to keep it [00:20:00] running on full power.
Dr. Amen: It’s absolutely correct. You know, back to exercise just for a second. The stronger you are as you age, the less likely you are to get Alzheimer’s disease. So building and sustaining muscle mass is critical to brain health. And a lot of women don’t want to lift weights because they don’t want to be big. But in fact, it makes them smaller. Because muscle is way more compact than fat. You also want to walk like you’re late. People who are 80, who can walk three miles an hour, have a 90% chance of living to 90. But people who are 80 who can only walk a mile an hour have a 90% chance they are not going to live until 90. And the statistic, Kathy, that scares me, is 50%, so 50%, half of the people who live to 85 will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. And I’m just not okay with that. I love my six children, but there’s no way I want to live with any of them. You know, they can live with me. But, no, I don’t want to be dependent. I don’t want them worried about taking my license. But that means when you’re 50, when you’re 60, when you’re 70, you need to be serious about brain health.
And one of the most controversial things I say in the book is alcohol is poison. In fact, there’s a brand new article out that they should put a cancer warning on alcohol because any alcohol increases your risk of 7 different cancers, and obviously is bad for the brain. [00:22:00] And another controversial thing as I go after marijuana, because I published a study on a thousand marijuana users. Every area of their brain is lower in blood flow. It actually looks older. And one statistic I think you’ll really like are one scientific fact. It’s a new fact that brain cells don’t age. It’s our blood vessels that age. And how do you keep blood vessels healthy? It’s exercise. And you can tell the skin of the smoker. Right? Because their skin looks older than they are. I have a brother-in-law who’s my same age, and my skin is not very wrinkled. His skin is deeply wrinkled, and it’s because he’s been damaging it day in and day out. So exercise, beets, cayenne pepper, the supplement ginkgo, all of these things can help boost blood flow. And why is blood flow so important? And I always say whatever is good for your heart is good for your brain. It’s good for your genitals, because it’s all about blood flow. You want a healthy sexual life, it’s critical to do things to keep a healthy brain. Plus, I always say no forethought equals no foreplay.
Kathy Smith: That one I haven’t heard. That one I love. No, it’s shocking. Two things coming out of that. One is I read about the drinking, first of all, in your book that you sent me the advance copy. But then, NBC last night, NBC news talking about the drinking and that there isn’t– It used to be two drinks. Then it was one drink for women. Now [00:24:00] it’s like any drinking you do is not good for your body, and relates to the certain types of cancers plus the brain. So it’s interesting. I just remember that that whole phase that we went through with wine and resveratrol and how good this is for your body. And I always had a suspicion because I never felt. You know, when you heard that, I tried it, I never felt good on it. I always felt foggy and you’re out of sorts the next day. And when you’re an athlete, I think you noticed things. Like, you go for a run one day or you go for your training, and you’ve had two, three glasses of wine the night before, it’s not the same training session the next day. So early, like I’m talking a long time ago, so I’m glad that there’s research about that now.
But let’s jump in. You mentioned ginkgo and caffeine, other supplement slash foods that we can ingest. So what I would love to jump over to is to neurotransmitters. And you’re managing your happiness. And what I found is that there is a new buzz going around about nootropics. So I’m going to talk about a couple things here and then maybe we can unpack it. In your book, you talk about these neurotransmitters and it’s the dopamine and serotonin and oxytocin, different things that make you calm and happy if they’re working well, but can also, if you don’t have enough, make you anxious and confrontational. And what I’m finding in the last few years is there’s a whole industry now being created around nootropics, are ways that you can manipulate these neurotransmitters. So I want to ask you, first of all, just to explain to the audience what neurotransmitters are and maybe a couple of them. But then what do you think about this manipulation and where the marketplace is going with some these supplements?
[00:26:00] Dr. Amen: Well, I’ve been following the science of supplements for 30 years. When I first started looking at the brain, I realized some of the medications I prescribed were toxic to brain function, especially things like opiates and benzos. And so I’m like, okay, first do no harm. Use the least toxic, most effective treatments. Well, I own a supplement company. So I started an own brain MD. So I’m totally biased. My favorite happiness supplement is Saffron. There are 24 randomized controlled trials showing that 30 milligrams of saffron are as effective as antidepressant medications to boost your mood, but rather than steal your sex drive and sex function, they enhance it. And it’s been shown to enhance memory. And Saffron works through serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine neurotransmitters to help stimulate mood and motivation. So I’m a huge fan of Saffron.
I think everybody should take a multiple vitamin. Why? People who take multiple vitamins on a regular basis have a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. That’s sort of a big deal. I think everybody should take an omega-3 fatty acid supplement, I did a study and showed 98% of the population is low in omega-3 fatty acids. So it just makes sense, unless you’re eating a lot of clean healthy fish to supplement with omega-3s. And then I think everyone should know just like their blood pressure, their vitamin D level. And we saw people who had low vitamin D levels, they died born when they got COVID because it strengthens your immune system. But people with low vitamin D have smaller brains. [00:28:00] That’s a very bad thing, to have a smaller brain.
And then it really depends on your type. I have a test that I talk about in the book, brain health assessment to know which of the 16 brain types you have, are you balanced, are you spontaneous? That’s sort of my ADD group. They do better with stimulating supplements like L-tyrosine, which is the amino acid building block for dopamine, or are you the persistent one, the worried, rigid, inflexible if things don’t go your way, you get upset person, you need more serotonin. So 5-HTP and saffron can help boost that. Or sensitive people that tend toward depression love saffron for that. Or a cautious group, or a anxious group, and there I’m a huge fan of magnesium, Ashwagandha, and theanine. I think of all the supplements my patients like, saffron and theanine from green tea. Theanine helps you focus while it relaxes you. And I posted this funny video with Tana, my wife. We have a brand new theanine gummy product. And she takes GABA for anxiety. And I’m like, she goes, how many can I take? And I’m like, take two to four. So she just took fou. And then I look over, and she’s stunned. I’m like, GABA Theanine. And it’s just like she had three glasses of wine.
Kathy Smith: So theanine, I mean, it’s interesting. I’ve been dabbling with everything you’re mentioning through the years, and it’s interesting as you start to learn about yourself, as you start to understand your personality– That’s why I think your quiz you just mentioned. Also, you have this memory, which I took the memory rescue quiz, which will have all these in the liner notes. [00:30:00] But if you go to memoryrescue.com/assessment, it’s like 60 questions and it’s really assessing your brain. But this other part where I’m very fascinated with nootropics, or just brain supplements, because I find through the years the type of brain. I’m spontaneous. I’m an adventure. I probably have some ADHD. But at the same time, I meditate, I exercise. Green tea and mocha makes me feel one way. If I’m going to get on a podcast and I want to be sharp and focused, I get out my mocha. I have tried some other things, but usually a good glass mocha, hot with maybe just a little oat milk on top does the trick. Nighttime, magnesium calm me down. I’m going to try the gummies. So tell us again, it’s Theanine. Is that what you said? Theanine? And does that come naturally in foods or not? The standing part of a food.
Dr. Amen: So when you’re drinking the mocha–
Kathy Smith: Okay. It’s a green tea. Okay.
Dr. Amen: You’re getting theanine, and it’s why I’m a bigger fan of green tea than coffee. Because the caffeine and coffee has a number of negative effects. But in green tea, because it has theanine, it sort of breaks the effect of the caffeine. So I think it’s a smoother brain chemical or combination than coffee by itself. And I’m a huge fan. We make something called brain and memory power boost. Ginkgo, for blood flow, N-acetyl cystein, which is just such a special new trend. It’s a super antioxidant, boost glutathione in the body, but they’ve actually been–
Kathy Smith: Go a little slower with that one, though. Because I agree with that, but for the audience, [00:32:00] that doesn’t know. It’s a glutathione and explain acetylcholine. Why is that so powerful?
Dr. Amen: Well, it also has huparizine for acetylcholine, which is the learning and memory neurotransmitter in the body, phosphatidylserine, which helps with memory and cell membrane fluidity. So as we age our cell membranes become more rigid and they become less fluid and alpha-lipoic acid to help balance blood sugar, which is just so important. And so if you just think of the best nootropics or supplements to boost brain function, I think a Ginkgo, N-acetylcystein, huparizine, phosphatidylserine are some of my favorite that have research. Because that’s always really important to me. It’s you might think it works, but how do you know unless you test it?
Kathy Smith: Well, maybe just closing here. I know one of the things you talk about in the book, and I’m a big believer in this also, is having a purpose in life and you’re talking about brain function as we age and finding a purpose for being on the planet. Now I know that there are studies out there that show that people that are the younger generation are driven– it says, the study says, less by money and more by purpose. Don’t know if it’s true or not. But what I’m finding is that when you get to a certain age, when you second half of lifers as we age, we sometimes lose our sense of purpose, and we don’t know what we want to do with the next stage of life. We feel, if the kids leave, depending what you were doing before, if the kids leave, we hadn’t had a job for a while, if you haven’t been connected, what would you suggest in the short time that we have now? And you talk about in the [00:34:00] book. So it’s a great place for people to also check-in on ways to discovering, uncovering your purpose in life. Because I have to say, I loved how you describe your purpose. I could sit down, and I love getting up every day. I love what I do. I love the learning, new things, being able to hang out with you for a half hour on a Tuesday afternoon. And I just, I’m just so grateful for having this purpose in life, but I talked to a lot of people and they don’t have purpose right now. So what would you suggest?
Dr. Amen: Actually a day in the book where I teach them how to find their purpose. It’s so important. Purposeful people live longer. They’re cognitively sharper. And there’s just great study from Baltimore. The Baltimore longevity study where they took two groups of older people, one group, they just continued to do what they did. They scan them before and after. The other group they had them volunteer. So if you don’t know your purpose, get outside of yourself and go help somebody else. That’s like the simplest thing to do. The people who volunteered, they grew their hippocampus. So the hippocampus is the major mood and memory structure in your brain. Hippocampus is Greek for seahorse. Every day, it produces about 700 new baby stem cells, a little baby seahorses every day. But the reason in older people, they don’t stick around is because they don’t have good blood flow. And so the babies die. And so if you’re exercising and volunteering or having purpose, what they found is the hippocampus in the people who didn’t volunteer shrank, [00:36:00] and the people who volunteered, it grew. And so I just find that so amazing that you can grow your brain if you put it in a healing environment, or if you don’t, if you don’t care, it shrinks. And then I promise you you’ll care about that.
Kathy Smith: Yeah. Well, on that note, I guess it’s where we started, which is s ask yourself every day, is this good for my brain or bad for my brain? And decide wisely. I mean, because your habits obviously create your destiny. It was so much fun having Doctor Amen on the show today. Now, if you want to get started changing your brain in a very positive way, then check out his book on Amazon. It’s called Change Your Brain Every Day and it comes out on March 21st. If you preorder, you will receive the book on that day. So get going. It’s a great book. You’re just going to want to read every single page and do the workbook because it really is powerful.
So on a side note and switching gears, you know that I love teaching and I love inspiring women to lead healthier lives, which is why I created an app that is called ReShape. It’s a three part app of daily workouts, daily meal plans, and daily motivation. You can check it out at kathysmith.com. Now if you or somebody you love would benefit from the ReShape, but you’re not able to afford it, just send us an email at customerservice@kathysmith so we can offer you the program at a discounted rate or even for free. And I really think that it is one of the apps that is worth having because we have gotten so much great feedback on it of really changing people’s lives. It brings it all together. Food, fitness, and then the big aspect of that is the motivation. Daily [00:38:00] visualizations that just keep you wanting to get out of bed and do things and keep you grounded and help you sleep at night.
So now I hope you enjoyed the show. And just as a reminder, these podcasts are great to listen to when you walk. I call it walk and talk, listen and learn, whatever you want, you can get out, listen, learn, walk, while I talk. And you can start by listening to an episode that we did with Dr. Amen prior to this episode. It was number 25. And so that will give you kind of backstory on Dr. Amen. He’s really somebody that I followed for years. I admire him and what he’s doing to help save our brains. And as we age, we know that a healthy brain and a healthy body go hand in hand. As a special thank you for being a podcast listener, I’m giving you a free 30 minute walking audio kathysmith.com/walk. It’s a guided lean walk that incorporates hit training to target belly fat, boost immune system, improve your moods, improve your energy.
And the secret to this metabolism breakthrough is the progressive interval where I coach you through a burst of supercharge walking. So imagine we’re walking along and you’re in a steady state, you’re going kind of at your normal pace, and all of a sudden, it’s like, okay, 10 seconds, we’re going to pick up the pace. And when we pick up the pace, you’re going to hear the music change, you’re going to stay on the beat and mind going to guide you. Maybe more than guide, push you through an interval. And when people walk with these tapes, they go, I thought I was walking before. What I was doing wasn’t walking. I was like, strolling. So this really amps up the pace. And as you heard Dr. Amen say in this podcast, amping up, increasing your pace, is what keeps your brain healthy. So it’s completely free. All you have to do is go to kathysmith.com/walk. So stay healthy, stay safe, stay [00:40:00] active, and until next time, here’s to your health. Love you.