We caught up with the activist and journalist about why she decided to bring Move For Minds to Miami, what we can do to further combat the disease, and her favorite spots in the Magic City.
Since her father’s battle with Alzheimer’s Disease, award-winning journalist and activist Maria Shriver has strived to raise awareness, educate the public, and find a cure. In 2008, Shriver executive produced the Emmy Award-winning documentary, The Alzheimer’s Project, before becoming a founder of The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement. In 2016, she created Move For Minds, a one-day event that focuses on activities promoting a healthy mind and body connection. This year, Move for Minds is touring eight cities across the U.S., and hit the Magic City earlier this month.
Here, we spoke with Shriver about her Move For Minds event in Miami, what inspired her to create it, and where you can find her in Miami.
Tell us a little about the event. Maria Shriver: Move For Minds 2017 was a tremendous experience. I’m so grateful to the thousands of people who came together and who helped us raise over $500,000 to support women-based Alzheimer’s research (two-thirds of the brains with Alzheimer’s in America belong to women, and no one knows why that is). Everyone who participated and who donated helped us create such an energy and an awareness about this important cause. It was a lot of fun, and I can’t wait to expand the movement to even more cities next year!
What were some of the highlights? MS: The day featured a specially designed brain-body workout, an interactive marketplace of brain-healthy snacks, and a superstar panel of experts in the fields of fitness, food, nutrition, sleep, meditation, caregiving, brain research, and more. I think people really enjoyed the workout this year—which was a fully-integrated circuit training regimen that was designed just for Move For Minds. It was created to challenge people physically, while also sparking neural activity in the brain. Our panelists and our partners also did an excellent job of engaging everyone on what they could be doing today to keep their brains working at their best.
What inspired you to start Move For Minds? MS: I started Move For Minds because I wanted people of all ages to get engaged in their cognitive health. Too often, we focus on how we look on the outside without considering what’s taking place on the inside. But, our brains and our bodies are deeply connected, and there are steps that people of every age can take to keep them working at an optimum level.
Why did you want to include Miami in the movement this year? MS: Miami is an amazing city—the people, the culture, the climate. I wanted to bring Move For Minds there because I know Miami is a city of people who are active and engaged and can be great allies for this movement.
Do you have any favorite spots in Miami? MS: Joe’s Stone Crab and Equinox.
What are your favorite routines to train your brain and body? MS: I like to do high-intensity interval training as often as I can, and I do my best to keep processed sugar and refined carbs out of my diet. I also stay mentally challenged through my work and I stay socially connected by keeping my friends and family close. Exercise and diet are important for a healthy brain, but staying engaged and socially connected are also essential. So is getting enough sleep and calming the mind through practices like meditation. It’s all about balance for me.
What else can people do to prevent Alzheimer’s? How can people around the world contribute to this cause? MS: One thing people can do—other than get engaged about their health—is get involved with clinical trials for Alzheimer’s prevention. There are a lot of these underway, and we need more people participating so researchers can gain a deeper understanding of this disease.
Do you have any other upcoming projects? MS: I just released my first coloring book, Color Your Mind, which is specifically designed for those with Alzheimer’s and their loved ones. The book is more than just coloring pages. It’s also filled with other activity suggestions, information about living a balanced life, and ideas for shared reflection and conversation. My hope is that it can serve as a creative way to engage people’s minds and as a creative way to get them talking about Alzheimer’s and supporting this cause (a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement).