Mark Milstein, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized speaker in the field of improving brain health, reducing dementia risk, and boosting happiness and productivity. He received his Ph.D. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Chemistry and a Bachelor of Science in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles. He has conducted research on topics including genetics, cancer biology, neuroscience, and infectious diseases, and his work has been published in numerous scientific journals.
In my new book, The brain is a sign of agingI identify simple lifestyle interventions that can dramatically improve brain health and reduce the risk of disease today, tomorrow and in the years to come.
If you’re ready for a mental bootcamp, the week-long challenge is one way to try things out and see what works best for you. do not worry; This bootcamp will not include any speakers, obstacle courses, or watering in jeans. This isn’t designed to be Hell Week. Instead, it’s a fun week to explore new options and simple, small and practical changes.
Here’s a week full of activities, meal ideas, and suggestions to help you live an age-defying brain life. The point of this challenge is not for you to do these same steps forever; Instead, I want you to look at this as a fun way to try new things, find out how you feel, and decide what practices you want to incorporate into your life moving forward after the seven days are over. This means that this week, you will apply the same times to wake up and sleep even on days off from work or days when you don’t need to be anywhere in the morning. (I know, I know—sleeping on a Saturday is one of life’s simple pleasures. But you might just discover that you enjoy those quiet morning hours, too.) If you see it’s time to wake up and dread, you can adjust the schedule that fits your lifestyle.
Before we get started, a few caveats: This challenge fits into a Monday-Friday work schedule, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It also assumes that you are commuting to work and that your diet includes meat and dairy products. (I know this won’t apply to everyone!) If you’re retired or semi-retired, have a flexible schedule, work from home, work different hours, or are a vegetarian (or vampire), you can customize the challenge to fit your lifestyle. (The book has some suggestions.)
I build at different times for exercise. The timing of the exercise is very personal. Some people manage to work out in the morning, some prefer to get that boost in the afternoon, and some prefer the evening. This challenge allows you to experiment and see what works best for you. Of course, if you already know you don’t have the energy to exercise effectively after 5 p.m., fit it in as you normally would. Also, a quick word about snacks. I suggest one snack each afternoon. If you feel you need another, choose something as minimally processed as possible, such as nuts, fruit, hummus, vegetables, or healthy carbohydrates.
Are you ready to do this brain training camp? Now go down and give me twenty push-ups. Just kidding, no need for that now.
Excerpted with permission from The brain is a sign of aging (October 2022; Benbla Books).
This story originally appeared on Fortune.com
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