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5 Reasons Reading Can Benefit Your Health

Updated: Oct 15, 2020

Did you know that reading a book is beneficial to your health? If you’re already an avid or even beginner reader, this is great news for you.  If you haven't picked up a book in a while, this is the motivation for you to start again. 

1. Reducing stress

Your life can often be full of many things that can cause you to develop stress on a regular basis. Whether it’s due to work, a late-night school project, a relationship or a decision that needs to be made, reading a book can take all your stress away.  A book has the power to transform your mind into the story, engaging and distracting you from any worries at hand. When reading, you become focused and are living in the present moment, allowing you to unwind.

2.  Information overload

Maybe you’ve heard the saying that goes, “In the absolute worst circumstance, if you lose everything, your job, your house, your car, and you’re left with nothing, you’ll always have one thing, you’ll have your knowledge and education." The things you learned in school, and through books can never be taken away from you. Every time you read a book you gain new knowledge and information that may become useful one day in the future.

3.  Sharpen your memory 

Each time you’re opening up a book, you have to remember who the characters were, what happened in the previous chapters, what the plot is, along with the sub-plots between characters scattered throughout the story.  When you really think about it, it seems like a lot to remember, doesn’t it?  When you’re reading, your brain continuously retains parts of information about the story.  Since the memory portion of your brain is stimulated, your brain feels like its exercising, creating improved memory. Every time you begin reading, you’re forming a new memory, which exercises your memory muscles.  In short, reading will help slow the decline in brain power and help protect your memory into old age. 

4.  Improved focus and concentration 

In today’s digital world, our focus is drawn into hundreds of different directions all at the same time.  With checking our emails, chatting with friends on Facebook, answering calls, or hearing that notification on your smartphone, you’re constantly in motion. Your brain constantly goes back and forth from task to task, increasing stress, and reducing productivity.  When you’re reading, you’re not going in different directions at once, you’re concentrated on just one the pages in your book, and you forget what is going on in the world around you.  Reading stimulates your brain in the area that helps with memory and attention. Therefore, reading is a form of mental exercise that will push your focus to its limits.

5.  Mental stimulation 

Over the years, studies have shown that remaining mentally stimulated helps to slow the progression, or even prevent the possibility of developing Dementia or Alzheimer’s later on in life. Because reading causes your brain to be active and stimulated, this will help prevent your brain from slowing down and losing power. Just like any other part of your body, your brain requires you to continually use it in order to keep your mind healthy and strong.

Overall, books are something that can be both entertaining and beneficial to your health.  With such a range of books to choose from, there are guaranteed to be a type of novel that would suit your personality. Even if you're not a fan of reading, give it a shot anyway. Pick a book about a subject that interests you. You don’t have anything to lose, just health benefits to gain. If you can find the right book, with a little bit of time and effort, you may just enjoy reading too!

Remember to have fun, be grateful and you'll be on your way to living your most optimal life!

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