March is Brain Health Awareness Month
Brain Health Awareness Month is a month to remind people to take care of their brains.
Occupational Therapists provide holistic client-centred therapy that considers the person’s physical, cognitive and emotional strengths and challenges, empowering them to live a healthy lifestyle.
We cannot talk about a healthy lifestyle without talking about our brains.
The brain is an integral part of our health, as the brain controls everything in our bodies, from physical ability to cognition to emotions. We rely on our brains for learning, moving, working, making decision, and even doing simple activities, such as watching TV!
In fact, brain injury is the number one killer and disabler of children and adults under the age of 45. In British Columbia alone, “…between 21 and 38 individuals sustain brain injury each day…” -Health Canada, 2007.
It’s important to prevent brain injuries and to do things to maintain a healthy brain for a good quality of life.
Keeping a healthy brain
Taking care of your brain can be simple and involves having healthy habits. Here are some ideas to keep a healthy brain:
- Eat nutritious food: avoid highly processed foods, and give preference to vegetables, fruits, whole grain foods, organic and protein foods. Canada’s Food Guide is a useful source of information for healthy eating.
- Exercise regularly: physical activity improves blood flow and can help you think, learn, problem-solve, and enjoy an emotional balance. Studies suggest that a simple exercise, like walking, can help increase creativity.
- Sleep well: sleeping 7-8 hours a day helps our brain reorganize and recover.
- Learn new things: when we learn new things, the brain creates new pathways, keeping it active and healthy!
- Be creative: creative activities such as reading, writing, making puzzles, playing a musical instrument, singing, and creating art and crafts are fun ways to keep the brain active.
- Reduce stress: stress can prematurely age the brain. Take steps to reduce stress in your life such as using relaxation techniques, deep breathing, positive thinking, meditation/praying, visualization, and enjoying nature.
- Stay socially connected: staying connected socially helps you stay connected mentally. Research shows that regularly interacting with others may help reduce your risk of developing dementia.
- Wear helmets: when playing sports that involve moving quickly or using a ball or a puck. Falls are the leading cause of brain injury, followed by striking or being struck by an object.
- Wear PPE at work: a hard hat and other protective equipment can prevent a brain injury at physically active jobs.
Our therapists have experience with brain injury
Our therapists have experience helping clients with brain injury to live their best lives. We continuously help WSBC, ICBC, third-party insurer, and private-pay clients with brain injury.
If you or someone you know had a concussion or a traumatic brain injury, contact us today.
Phone: 604.696.1066 ext. 1000.
Read more about brain health:
- Brain-healthy tips to reduce your risk of dementia by the Alzheimer Society.
- Healthy Brain by Brainstreams
- What can you do to keep your brain healthy, an animated video by Trinity Brain Health.
(Photo by EKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA: https://www.pexels.com/photo/paperclip-in-a-shape-of-a-light-bulb-and-a-rubber-eraser-in-a-shape-of-a-brain-6193936/)