Move for Minds is an annual fundraising event founded by Maria Shriver and supporting the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement. The event focuses on the mind/body connection and raises funds to support women-based Alzheimer’s research. The event took place yesterday at the Equinox Sports Club in New York City, and in the days to come in San Francisco, Boston and Los Angeles.
The program includes exercise (a brain-healthy workout led by top Equinox instructors), information (from some of the nation’s leading Alzheimer’s and brain-health experts), a healthy lunch, and a hell of a lot of inspiration, encouragement and empowerment.
As the daughter of a parent suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease I was frankly blown away when I attended Move For Minds 2017 (see, #MoveForMinds – An Alzheimer’s Prevention Exercise and Expert Panel Discussion – Founded by Maria Shriver Benefiting the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement). My life changed that day when I learned that just because a relative suffers from this dreaded disease does not mean it is also my destiny. In fact, study shows that exercise combined with healthy nutrition and other factors, can drastically reduce one’s chances of getting Alzheimer’s.
The journey continued throughout the year: I kept my exercise level high, I changed my diet entirely, I lost weight, and I kept a positive, healthy outlook.
I had to return to Move For Minds this year. I did not know if it would be a rehash of last year’s program or something entirely new, but I had to go.
I attended yesterday, and I can say that it was wonderful. It was not the same as last year. The exercise program, the members of the panel, and the information shared were different than last year. Maria Shriver attended and led the program. Here she is greeting the participants:
It was an honor to meet her – she is so dedicated to this important cause.
Here are some of the highlights of the day:
BRAIN HEALTHY EXERCISE WORKOUT
During last year’s exercise program, the participants were divided into five groups that moved around the room for a series of different mini-sessions. Yesterday, the group was taught as one, by an Equinox trainer with a specially-designed brain-healthy workout, consisting of a mix of cardio and other moves.
INTERMITTENT FASTING IS BRAIN HEALTHY
After the exercise program last year, we were treated to a buffet lunch. This year, we were told that we had to stay hungry a little longer as research has shown that intermittent fasting is brain-healthy. As such, the lunch was served after the panel discussion, not before it. (Note, the lunch was so good, with salad and avocado toast, that I forgot to take photos of it – it’s from HoneyBrains in Soho).
The panel discussion was led by Maria Shriver. The experts that joined her were Lisa Masconi, PhD (Associate Director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell and New York Presbyterian Hospital), Wendy Suzuki (Professor of Neural Sciences at New York University), Sheila Klehm (UBS Wealth Management), Dan Gasby (husband and full-time caregiver of B Smith), and Bob Roth (CEO David Lynch Foundation).
MARIA, MARIA, MARIA
Maria Shriver’s heartfelt dedication to the cause was impressive. She, like almost everyone else in attendance, had a family member who suffered Alzheimer’s disease.
- This is a woman’s issue. We, as women, need to work together to bring the issues of Alzheimer’s and Alzheimer’s research to the forefront. Women will be the solution.
- We need money for scientific brain health research and politicians have to become involved and supportive of the movement.
- Fashion and Beauty companies, which make so much money from women, need to get involved in the cause and the conversation.
SCIENCE, SCIENCE, SCIENCE
There were two significant science-based discoveries of the past year that were discussed by the experts, both which call for more research.
The first dealt with the hormone-brain connection and the menopause-brain connection. Research suggests that, for women, the signs of changes leading to Alzheimer’s can be seen on brain scans beginning around the time of menopause, or even peri-menopause.
The second concerned a study which followed a large group over 44 years (commencing at 40 years of age) showed that those members who remained physically active during the course of the study had a much lower level of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
BE STILL MY LOVE – MEDITATION IS HEALTHY
I learned from Bob Roth’s discussion that mindfulness and meditation go hand-in-hand with brain health and Alzheimer’s prevention.
THE CAREGIVER: CARING FOR A LOVED ONE WITH ALZHEIMER’S IS SOMETIMES LIKE TRYING TO CLAP WITH ONE HAND
Dan Gasby, the husband of the beautiful model author B. Smith, speaks from his heart at Move For Minds about what it is like to be a full time caregiver for a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s. I video’ed all 7 minutes of his discussion and I keep playing it over and over.
He gave a nod to the need for scientific research, when he said, don’t just pray, pray for the scientists!
LOOK FOR FINANCIAL WARNING SIGNS
On the financial management side, Sheila Klehm of UBS, discussed how often one of the first signs of the illness is financial irresponsibility or inconsistency and stressed how important it is for family members to watch for this.
BEYOND ALL THIS – SPONSORS, SUPPORT AND SAMPLES
Just a few of the exhibitors . . .
BOOKS AND READING MATERIALS
Many of the experts have written books on the topics they spoke about.