Dakim Blog

January 24, 2011

Jack LaLanne, our mentor and friend

Written by: Dan Michel

Like many, I grew up watching Jack LaLanne in the early days of television—-on a 13-inch, black-and-white TV with rabbit ears. Jack was then–and was still when I eventually met him more than a half-century later—-a true original, a force of nature, and a champion for doing something good in this world.

Jack’s message was simple: Living a healthy lifestyle and exercising is not only good for you, it’s fun. He made spreading this message his joyous mission for more than eight decades.

While best-known as the godfather of the physical fitness movement, Jack was an equally enthusiastic proponent of brain fitness. He saw physical and brain fitness as essential tools for getting through daily life, and both as a matter of “use it or lose it.” He always did everything he could to help others get the most out of life by following that philosophy.

Jack LaLanne, fitness guru, seated at the Dakim BrainFitness System
Jack LaLanne, a true original (2009)

We at Dakim, both young and not-so-young, were so honored to be associated with Jack these last few years as he brought his special brand of inspiration to the brain fitness movement. Our hearts go out to Elaine, his wife of 51 years, who has lost her loving partner in life. As for the rest of us, we have lost a great mentor and very dear friend.

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There are many videos available on the Internet from Jack’s fitness show, but we favored sharing this one with our blog-followers: Jack on simply being happy. Enjoy!

November 6, 2009

Power Aging with Jack LaLanne

Written by: Dakim

Jack LaLanne is perhaps the most recognizable name in fitness throughout the world. We at Dakim are proud to welcome him as our newest advocate for brain fitness.

All my life I’ve been the guy that’s encouraged, cajoled and pushed you to stay active and keep moving. So, what I’m about to say may seem a little strange coming from me, but here goes – GO TO SLEEP!

It’s good for your body and your brain. The experts say you need at least seven hours of sleep each night to literally turn off your brain so you can have optimal cognitive performance the next day. And the last five hours of sleep—the REM stage—are important. Because that’s when your brain locks in information to improve memory function.

So, how do you get a good night’s sleep? Some people turn to medication, but that can sometimes lead to memory impairment, not to mention other side-effects. Experts and common sense tell me these are a few things you can do today to get a good night’s sleep tonight:

• Exercise. At least 20-30 minutes a day. You knew I was going to say that. But try not to do too much for about two hours before bedtime.
• Don’t fall asleep with the TV on. The light from the screen will disrupt your sleep. Honestly, there are far better things to do in the bedroom. But if you have to watch TV before you go to sleep, put it on a timer.
• Steer clear of caffeine and alcohol after noon. You might think alcohol will help you fall asleep faster, but what it also does is wake you up at night after its effectswear off.
• Keep a schedule. Go to bed and get up the same time each day. Even on weekends.
• Keep your room cool and dark and your bed nice and comfortable.
• If you have to eat close to bedtime, make sure it’s a light snack only. Too much food and your body will be up digesting all night.
• If you have real trouble sleeping, try to avoid napping during the day. If you’re a little tired, go for a brisk, invigorating walk instead.

-Article from BrainStorm by Dakim, Fall 2009

July 30, 2009

Power aging with Jack LaLanne

Written by: Dakim

Jack LaLanne is perhaps the most recognizable name in fitness throughout the world. We at Dakim are proud to welcome him as our newest advocate for brain fitness.

It seems everywhere you turn around you’re hearing something about how depressed people are these days. Teenagers. The elderly. Now, I’m not a physician, so I won’t be telling you not to take your meds or whatnot, but I will tell you there are some things that you can do that don’t involve pills to help improve your mood and your mind.

Exercise
I’ll say it again and again and again until everyone “gets it.” Exercise makes you look better and feel better. Period. You don’t see too many happy couch potatoes out there now do you?

Try something new
Don’t get stuck in a rut. Every day meet someone new, do something new, see something new. When you learn a new skill, you not only feel better about yourself, you actually build new circuitry in your brain. Which can help keep you sharp.

Switch hands
If you’re right-handed, use your left hand to brush your teeth. If you’re left-handed, become a rightie for an hour. This can promote the growth of neurons in the brain which can help with thinking and memory. Added bonus – it’s hard to feel bad when you’re concentrating so hard on not spilling juice on yourself.

Accentuate the positive
Be an optimist. I’ve been one all of my life, and it’s worked out pretty darn well. If your computer connection isn’t working, think of how nice it would be to send someone you care about an actual letter instead of an email. If it’s gloomy and raining, think about how your garden could really use the water. Find the sunny side of life and it just might find you.

-Article from Dakim Summer Brainstorm newsletter