This year, the theme of national brain week is ‘my health, my responsibility’. Your brain is your most precious asset. A small damage in the neuronal circuit can have catastrophic effect. But as we grow older the brain becomes weaker due to ageing. Many neurons undergo degeneration leading to brain atrophy. It causes several problems to us.
Some changes are common in old age. For example, older adults may:
- Be slower to find words and recall names
- Find, they have more problems with multitasking
- Find decrease in attention
But certain practice can slow down the ageing. It can reduce the speed of brain degeneration. These practices can help us prevent the neurodegenerative diseases.
Stimulate your brain
Brain needs regular stimulation. Several researches with mice and humans, scientists have found that activities stimulate new connections among nerve cells and may even help the brain generate new cells. Word puzzles or math problems, new book, drawing, painting, and other crafts, music, music instruments, all help in brain stimulation.
Regular exercise & meditation
Use of muscles helps your mind. Exercise helps in the development of new nerve cells and increases the connections among brain cells (synapses).Along with it, exercise also lowers blood pressure, improves cholesterol levels, helps blood sugar balance and reduces mental stress, all of which can help your brain and heart. Meditation balances our mind and helps us relax.
Get a good sleep and control your emotion
Good sleep is a great necessity for healthy brain. Sleep is the key way to keep your brain in rest for 7-9 hours a night. Sleep is the most important thing you can do to reset the brain, along with, it helps in healing of neuronal injuries. Depression and stress are big enemies of our brain. So stay away from stress and depression.
Improve your diet
Diet is a very important factor for a healthy brain. Good nutrition can help your mind as well as your body. For example, people who eat fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, unsaturated oils (olive oil) and plant sources of proteins are less likely to develop cognitive impairment and dementia.
Control blood pressure and blood sugar
High blood pressure and blood sugar are detrimental to healthy brain. These factors cause recurrent stroke like attacks which speed up the degeneration of brain. You can control your blood pressure and limit the blood sugar levels by taking a good diet and regular exercise. Regular routine blood sugar and blood pressure monitoring helps us in controlling them.
Avoid tobacco and alcohol
Avoid tobacco in all its forms. Chronic alcohol intake is also a major risk factor for dementia. Stay away from binge drinking.
Protect your head from any injury
Head injury is a major concern in recent times. Minor head trauma can speed up the degeneration of brain. Protect your head. While driving use helmet. Refrain from contact sports using head. Moderate to severe head injuries, even without diagnosed concussions, increase the risk of cognitive impairment.
Our brain health is in our hands. Little awareness and lifestyle change can prevent neurodegeneration in long term…
Please read and share..
Hardman JM, Manoukian A. Pathology of head trauma. Neuroimaging Clinics of North America. 2002 May 1;12(2):175-87.
Cotman CW, Berchtold NC. Exercise: a behavioral intervention to enhance brain health and plasticity. Trends in neurosciences. 2002 Jun 1;25(6):295-301.