World Brain Day 2022: Simple lifestyle changes to boost

Sitting all day, binge-watching till late night, indulging in processed and deep-fried treats apart from dealing with the daily stress our workplace brings to our life could be playing a havoc with our brain health. Our brain, one of the most crucial organs in our body, is hardly getting any breather in our fast-paced life and continuing to take it for granted could make one susceptible to many neurological and mental health disorders which could majorly affect our quality of life. (Also read: Is there a link between Alzheimer’s and gut health? Here’s what a study says)

According to WHO, good brain health is a state in which every individual can realize their own abilities and optimize their cognitive, emotional, psychological and behavioural functioning to cope with life situations.

“An individual’s lifestyle has a profound impact on his or her brain health. Growing evidence now suggests that people can reduce their risk of cognitive decline by adopting key lifestyle habits. A balanced and healthy diet low in oils and fats and abundant in fruits and vegetables is known to be beneficial. Research has found a decreased risk of cognitive decline and dementia in people who consume increased quantities of green leafy vegetables such as lettuce, collard, spinach and kale,” says Dr Jyoti Bala Sharma, Director & HOD – Neurology Fortis Hospital, Noida.

Here are some important lifestyle changes that can help prevent brain disorders:

Regular exercise

Regular physical activity of 30 minutes 5 times a week is a part of living a healthy life. It not only keeps our bodies healthy but also helps our brain to improve its thinking, learning, problem solving and emotional skills. Regular exercise improves memory and decreases anxiety, depression and dementia. One study found that cognitive decline is twice as common among adults who are inactive compared to those who are active.

Get 7-8 hours of quality sleep

Sleep is the foundation of our mental health and bed time is akin to restoration time for our brains. Lack of sleep is linked to an increased incidence of weight gain, hypertension and diabetes – all risk factors for cerebrovascular accidents.

Dedicate some time for relaxation

Increased stress levels are linked to a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Reduction of stress levels can be accomplished by having a good daily routine, reducing work place altercations and seeking professional help where and when required.

Say no to smoking

It has been found that smokers have a thinner cerebral cortex than non smokers. The cerebral cortex is the part of brain responsible for thinking and reasoning skills. Some of these changes may be reversible to an extent if one quits early.

Avoid chronic diseases or manage them well

Optimal management of pre-existing diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity can also help in preventing a further decline in our brain health by decreasing the risk of strokes.

Connect with others

In the era of Covid, we have been unable to interact with each other. This lack of social communication and connection also negatively impacts our brain health. Meeting friends and family, trying a new activity, stimulating conversations also helps our brain stay active.

Inculcating these habits in our daily life can work wonders for your brain health.

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