10 Lifestyle Habits That Are Harming Your Brain And Spine
Did you know that when you have a healthy brain, you also have a healthy spine?
The spine and brain work as one to form the nervous system that consists of two parts: the peripheral nervous system and the central nervous system. The peripheral nervous system will branch out into your limbs and organs including peripheral nerves, cranial nerves, and even spinal nerves. On the other hand, the central nervous system will run from the brain along the spinal column which includes the spinal cord, brain, and brainstem.
Nevertheless, your lifestyle habits have a big impact on your brain and spine, even though you don’t realize it. How you walk and what you eat contribute to the health of your brain and spine, which interprets to a bigger picture of your general health.
So, are you wondering how to keep your brain and spine in good shape? If yes, keep on reading.
Lifestyle Habits That Are Harming Your Brain
Aside from visiting a reliable brain specialist like Dickinsonneurosurgery.com, here’s a list of lifestyle habits you may want to avoid to keep your brain strong and perform well.
Smoking may shrink your brain, and take note it’s a bad thing. This will make your memory worse and make you more susceptible to dementia like Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, smoking may also cause heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.
- Eating Foods with Too Much Sugar
People consume sugar in the majority of their beverages and food, knowingly or unknowingly sometimes. A high intake of refined sugars may damage the body’s capability and the brain to absorb nutrients and proteins.
Remember that poor nutrition will result in malnourishment and can lead to brain disorders, such as learning disorders, depression, poor memory, and hyperactivity. So, the next time you want to upgrade your regular drink to a large coke, you’ll need to think again because it’s jam-packed with almost 20 spoons of sugar.
- Premature Stress
Undeniably, stress becomes a part of everybody’s life. Certain stress related to family or work is a parcel and part of life.
The stress of finishing work ahead of time or winning competitions is considered a healthy look of stress. However, if stress goes beyond your capability to cope, it will stop your brain’s normal and healthy functioning, making you feel sleepless, irritable, angry, low, and depressed.
So, when you’re experiencing any of these emotions most of the time, you should consult a medical professional or try moving away from the things that give you stress.
- Using Headphones In High Volumes
By nature, some people prefer to switch up the volume, making the sounds more immersive and fun. In the period of noise-canceling headphones and earbuds, you can damage your hearing with ease.
When the world gets so distracting, it’s very tempting to put on your earbuds or headphones, play your favorite song, and disconnect yourself from the world to focus. But if you’re blasting your music loudly consistently, you might end up damaging your hearing. However, it’s worth mentioning that it’s not only your ears. As a matter of fact, hearing loss is associated with brain disorders like Alzheimer’s and loss of brain tissues.
When your brain needs to work hard to properly comprehend what’s being said, it won’t store what you’ve heard into memory. That’s why it’s essential to protect your hearing, and one good way to do it is to adjust the volume of your headphones or earbuds. Doing so is a beautiful way to sustain your hearing while allowing your brain to work better.
One more thing, aim to take a regular break to give your ears their much-needed rest.
Did you know that when you overeat food, even with the correct type of food, your brain can’t build a solid network of connections that help you remember and think? This is true. When you overeat for too long, you’ll get overweight, which may cause high blood pressure, heart disease, and disease. In fact, these conditions are all associated with Alzheimer’s and other brain problems.
- Sleep Deprivation
Lack of sleep will hinder the ability of your brain to perform normally. For instance, if you’ve forgotten your car keys and can’t remember where you placed them or have lost them on your way home, lack of sleep is one of the major culprits behind your temporary memory loss.
Lack of sleep, on the other hand, may result in cognitive problems. When you don’t get enough sleep, some brain cells will eventually die, and thus it’ll become more difficult for you to remember things.
Psychological problems may also crop up because of sleep disturbances and bad sleep. Having that said, make it a habit to get at least seven hours of sleep every day and look for ways on how to improve your sleep.
Lifestyle Habits That Are Harming Your Spine
Knowing how to protect your spine is crucial to prevent bone disorders like bone loss. Take a look at the various lifestyle habits that may harm your spine to start breaking those habits.
- Not Maintaining Good Posture
Remember, aside from being cosmetic, your posture helps in ensuring that your spine remains protected and healthy. Whether you’re sleeping, standing, sitting, reaching, bending, or lifting, your posture really matters. If you have good posture, you can be certain that your vertebrae are properly aligned.
A healthy spine comes with three natural curves, a lumbar curve, a cervical curve, and a thoracic curve. The curves of the spine work like a sponge or spring to maintain balance and absorb shock. Proper posture helps to improve bone strength since the body’s weight is allocated evenly throughout, which puts good stress on the bones.
By being aware of your posture, you’ll be able to make sure that your spine is correctly aligned.
- Missing Workouts
The human body is designed to move. Exercising regularly can help in warding off various health conditions like depression, diabetes, and hypertension. Besides improving mood and energy and building bones, exercise is crucial for preserving a healthy back.
Those who are dealing with back pain may experience fears that workout further contributes to their injuries. But studies have shown that exercise isn’t only safe for people with back pain, but it also works to lessen overall pain ratings and improve strength.
It’s crucial to have a regular workout routine that includes moves that may strengthen your core since stopping to exercise may result in detraining that causes forces of other health problems.
- Lifting Heavy Objects
If you tend to lift heavy objects to finish the job more rapidly, you should stop doing it as it causes back pain. But if your work requires you to lift them, it’s important that you have an idea of the right way to do it. Make sure that the lift weights are greater than yours.
Nevertheless, after ensuring that you’re capable of carrying the weight, you will need to position yourself. Stay in front of the object and then separate your feet at shoulder distance. Bend your knees while keeping your spine’s vertical position. Do a squat and lift the object from the ground slowly.
- You’re Sitting Most Of The Time
With the advances in technology, a rise in office work, and the capability to get places via buses, airplanes, and cars, most people spend most of their time sitting down. While sitting down would not be seen as a destructive activity, this sedentary behavior is quite dangerous. When you’re moving, your vertebral discs extend and contact much like sponges soaking up nutrients and fresh blood that keeps them healthy.
Sitting for an extended time will make squished discs, and thus, the collagen around the ligaments and tendons becomes hardened. Further, prolonged sitting may increase the risk of herniated lumbar disks. When you sit, your abdominal and back muscles aren’t working to support the back. Over time, such muscles become overstretched and weaker, which often results in pain.
In addition to that, sitting for an extended period of time will cause the weight of your upper body to rest on the sitting bones or ischial tuberosity, instead of being distributed along the spine’s arch evenly.
To prevent this from happening, it’s important to move often during the course of the day. While working out is vital, it’s also highly recommended to try to sit less. Simple changes like walking around your office or home while you’re on the phone and getting up to find someone instead of paging may considerably lessen your sitting time.
If you’re concerned with the health of your spine and brain, you need to learn to take care of them. By simply making some changes in your lifestyle habits, like avoiding the activities mentioned earlier, you will improve the overall health of your brain and spine.
Nevertheless, to ensure that there’s nothing wrong with your brain and/or spine, it’s best to consult a specialist so that your condition will be assessed thoroughly.