You won’t believe this!
Ric Edelman: It's Wednesday, January 4th. Welcome to my podcast today. Do you want to strengthen your brain? Well, I'll tell you what you need to do. You need to play pickleball. You must be joking. No, I'm really quite serious. A study in Maine has found that when older people started playing pickleball, they improved their balance, visual processing, audio processing, their reflex speed, and their decision making speed.
This supports research from the Global Council on Brain Health, which found that people who participate in purposeful exercise show beneficial changes in brain structure and function. Apparently, it's not enough to just exercise. You need to have rules and external stimulus that requires reaction and decision making. Epidemiological evidence shows that people who engage in these activities for 150 minutes a week have a lower risk of cognitive decline. And the Centers for Disease Control say regular physical activity can reduce the risk of dementia by 50%.
And if you don't want to play pickleball or you can't play pickleball or other physical activities, then there's another thing that you can do to strengthen your brain. All you need to do is a crossword puzzle. Of course! The New England Journal of Medicine just reported on a study from Columbia, Duke and the City University of New York. They studied 100 people ranging in age from 55 to 95. They studied these folks for a year and a half, and all of them either had early stage or late-stage cognitive impairment.
Half the subjects, they had them play brain training games on a computer. The other half did crossword puzzles on a computer of medium difficulty. And all these folks were then studied for the next five years. And guess what? Those who had done crosswords were 50% more likely to show a significant improvement in cognitive scores, while those who played other games were 50% more likely to progress to full blown dementia. So pickleball or crossword puzzles - your choice but choose while you still can.
And if you're a financial advisor, you need to have these kinds of conversations with your clients when you did your last client review meeting. Did you talk with your client about their brain health and how to strengthen their brain? Did you talk with them about engaging in sports and physical activities like pickleball and a way to improve their brain health? Or did all your conversation focus on the markets? You need to recognize that your client is much more than a set of spreadsheets and performance data. You need to have a conversation with them about what's truly important in their life, and that's their physical and brain health. That's how you'll be of greater value to your client. That's how you'll demonstrate why your client needs to have you as their financial advisor. Pickleball or crossword puzzles. That's your next client conversation.