Tags: Exclusive Interviews | Steve Malzberg Show | Alzheimer's/Dementia | aging | brain | exercise | diet

Top Shrink's Simple Plan to Reverse Aging of the Brain

By    |   Monday, 25 May 2015 05:48 PM

Reversing the effects of an aging brain is a no-brainer, says Dr. Gary Small, a UCLA psychiatry professor who's developed a 14-day program of simple exercises and strategies to help sharpen the mind.

"A lot of people don't realize how much control they have over their brain health and their memory," Small said Monday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"The first question people ask is can you really get my brain younger in two weeks — and my short answer is yes. Honestly, we've got the scientific evidence to show that.

"We find after simple exercise after a couple of weeks we can literally rewire your brain and get it healthier, smarter and stronger."

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Small is co-author, with Gigi Vorgan, of "2 Weeks to a Younger Brain," published by Huminix.

He told guest host Rick Ungar that while traditional methods such as games and puzzles help exercise the brain and build brain muscle, physical exercise is key.

'[It's] one of the best things you can for your brain. When you get your heart to pump oxygen and nutrients to your brain cells, your brain actually gets bigger and functions better," he said.

"In fact, your body produces chemicals that improve your mood as well as other chemicals that get your brain cells to communication more effectively."

Just how much exercise is Small talking about?

"I recommend at least 15 minutes of brisk walking a day, but strength training is very important," he said.

And the program of reversing brain aging can start at any stage of life, according to Small.

"It's remarkable. A study shows that you can take a 20-year-old and you can take a 7-year-old and you can build brain muscle whether it's physical exercise or even brain games," he said.

"If you use certain computer games, if you learn the memory techniques we teach in the book, you can actually get your brain wires to function better."

Food also plays a big part.

"One of the biggest problems we face today is an epidemic of overweight and obesity. It turns out that if you're overweight, it doubles your risk of Alzheimer's," Small said.

"If you're obese, it quadruples your risk and that's the bad news. The good news is we find that if we put people who are obese on a strict diet and they lose weight, their memory improves in a few months.

"Your brain is very resilient if you take care of it. Also, you've got to think about the kinds of foods you eat."

He suggested fish, nuts, fruits and vegetables and said avoiding processed foods and refined sugars is also important.

Small explained that by the time most people reach the age of 45, they notice memory decline and other signs of brain aging.

"It's a very gradual process, maybe a percent or so each year.... That's our low hanging fruit, that's where we can really help people," he said.

"What we do is lay out the program very simply and we show people the exercises to do. We also convince them of the connection between their behavior and their brain health."

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Reversing the effects of an aging brain is a no-brainer, says Dr. Gary Small, a UCLA psychiatry professor who's developed a 14-day program of simple exercises and strategies to help sharpen the mind.
aging, brain, exercise, diet, health
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2015-48-25
Monday, 25 May 2015 05:48 PM
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