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How to Optimize Brain Health at Any Age

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Presentation delivered by Alvaro Fernandez at the Vancouver JCC, on November 3rd, hosted by Eaton Arrowsmith.

Description: Just like the rest of our body, the brain requires care, attention and proper exercise. Yet, we often ignore this most vital organ because few know where to begin. Based on The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness: How to Optimize Brain Health and Performance at Any Age, named a Best Book by AARP, co-author Alvaro Fernandez will discuss exactly how to “use it or lose it,” offering a ground breaking new approach to harness neuroplasticity and improve brain health and performance at any age, from children to younger and older adults.

Published in: Education
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How to Optimize Brain Health at Any Age

  1. 1. Alvaro Fernandez in Vancouver SharpBrains.com November 3rd, 2016
  2. 2. What do you see?
  3. 3. WHAT WHY HOW
  4. 4. WHAT
  5. 5. Name the color of each word
  6. 6. WHY
  7. 7. Improve performance Delay disease
  8. 8. Examples AGE PERFORMANCE 25 50 75 100 PERFORMANCE AGE
  9. 9. ① Lifelong neurogenesis and neuroplasticity ② Cognitive reserve ③ Digital innovation
  10. 10. We need a new mindset and toolkit Content transfer Physical fitness Disease treatment Education Leadership Health Fitness Health
  11. 11. HOW
  12. 12. Healthy socialization
  13. 13. No need to be a car mechanic, but…
  14. 14. Cells that fire together wire together
  15. 15. Remember this list CANDY SOUR SUGAR TASTY HONEY CHOCOLATE EAT CAKE
  16. 16. Which words were on the list? BITTER CAKE HAMBURGER FLOUR SWEET PUMPKIN NEWSPAPER BAT
  17. 17. Regulating Stress 32 ‘Stress – the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demands placed on them’ There is a clear distinction between pressure, which can create a “buzz” and be a motivating factor, and stress, which can occur when pressure becomes excessive.
  18. 18. What is Mindfulness? Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: On purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally Jon Kabat-Zinn Mindfulness is the balanced, on-going attention to what is happening (physically and mentally), including the mind’s perceptions and reactions to what is happening Sylvia Boorstein
  19. 19. 34 Debunking the Myths • Mindfulness is not a religion • You don’t have to sit cross legged on the floor • It does not take a lot of time • You do not try to empty your mind • You do not have to live in a monastery • Its not complicated but it is difficult X
  20. 20. Travel back to a time – Index: when you felt a healthy exhaustion – Middle: loving exchange – Ring: most caring gesture you have ever received – Little: most magnificent place you have seen Source: Five Good minutes, by Jeffrey Brantley
  21. 21. Re-framing I really don’t want to do this This is a disaster I can’t afford the time to sort this out Why does this always happen to me? Why can’t they get their act together? Everything’s going wrong I haven’t got a clue what my objectives are This will be fine I’m sure it will work out – it usually does I can’t afford NOT to sort this out Its not just me – let me sort it out What can I do? I need to break the problems down I need to set the direction for my team Problem Mindset Action Mindset
  22. 22. Mental activity vs. mental exercise Source: Maguire, Woollett, & Spiers, 2006
  23. 23. Five conditions to maximize transfer To maximize real-world value of training… 1. Target neural processes that support real-world activities 2. Minimum “dose” of ~15 hours of training per targeted improvement 3. Address an individual’s bottleneck/ deficit 4. Adaptive challenge 5. Continued practice Source: The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness
  24. 24. “Be the change you want to see in the world” “The best way to predict the future is to invent it” @alvarof SharpBrains.com
  25. 25. To learn more, visit sharpbrains.com

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