World Brain Day 2022: Tips to take care of your brain
In the words of WHO, “we have only one brain”, and we must take good care of it.
Roughly about 1.3 kg in weight, the brain controls the body. Known as the ‘master’ of the human body, the organ is the most complex and sensitive of all. With World Brain Day celebrated annually on July 22, it is time to stress the importance of good mental health.
In a world marked by pandemics, wars and climatic changes, mental health has become a critical factor in our day-to-day lives.
The Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee had proposed the idea of observing July 22 as World Brain Day every year. The proposal was happily accepted at the World Congress of Neurology (WCN) Council of Delegates meeting in 2013.
With the theme being different each year, this year’s Brain Day is dedicated to the theme, ‘Brain Health for All’.
The focus of the World Brain Day 2022 will be:
- Awareness of mental health which is vital for mental, social and physical well-being
- Prevention: Many brain diseases are preventable
- Advocacy: Global efforts are required for optimal brain health
- Education: It’s the key to brain health
- Access to resources, treatment and rehabilitation essential for brain health.
On the occasion of World Brain Day, the WHO took to Twitter and said: “You have only one brain, take good care of it. Taking action to look after your physical health is good for your brain too. One in three of us will develop a brain disorder at one point in life.”
As per WHO, brain disorders are the number one cause of disability and the second cause of death globally.
The global health body also informed that nearly 70 per cent of the burden of neurological disorders falls on low and middle-income countries. Only 28 per cent of the low-income countries have dedicated policies for neurological disorders.
On the occasion of Brain Day, the Karnataka government has inaugurated the ‘Brain Health Clinic’ in association with NIMHANS. The project aims at diagnosing and treating brain disorders at grassroots levels.
Among the brain, diseases with overt damage to brain structures include cerebrovascular diseases, traumatic brain injury, brain tumours, meningitis and others.
Brain diseases that disrupt brain networks include Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
Other brain diseases caused by lifestyle alterations include migraine and sleep disorders.
How can we take care of our brain?
Lifestyle has a profound impact on brain health. These are some healthy habits that can ensure good brain health and prevent age-related brain disorders.
- Building physical endurance with aerobic exercises such as running, swimming, biking and others. These activities foster new brain cell growth.
- Lifting weights can not only build muscle strength but can also boost brain power.
- Increasing flexibility with yoga and stretching can reduce the risk of brain injury.
- Balance training can also prevent accidental falls.
- Maintaining a good sleep pattern that is vital for good memory and overall brain health.
- Engaging in brain sharpening activities- like solving crossword puzzles, reading or playing chess.
- Engaging socially can reduce risk of depression and stress.
- Adding brain-richening foods like fatty fish, blueberries, turmeric, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, nuts and others to your diet.
Some experts say that sometimes dark chocolate can even help.