Read your way to better health

Read your way to better health

We live in an age where technology has mainly taken over the way we work, the way we keep our families safe and sadly the way we choose to get our fix of reading. But caught up in this “screen friendly” world has also led thousands of people out there to forget the comfort a good book can bring.

Truth is, if you’re one of the many out there who simply avoid books altogether, you’re missing out on a whole lot. Reading, even just 10 minutes per day, has so many amazing benefits, and it’s time you got on board or face being left behind.

So what are the benefits of reading every day?

1. It helps you Unwind

If you’re feeling wound up, there’s nothing quite as relaxing as reading a good book. In 2009, a study conducted at Mindlab International at the University of Sussex found that one of the best ways of beating stress was through reading. You really get the opportunity to just live in someone else’s fantasy, which in turn helps you relax, which is great for boosting your vitality and will help you lead a longer, happier life.

2. It Improves your Sleep Patterns

One of the essential elements towards leading a healthier lifestyle is getting enough shut-eye. Reading is a great way of winding down before bed time and helps to calm your mind, effectively getting it ready for a great night of sleep. Unlike the bright lights from E-Book readers that cue your brain to stay awake, reading a REAL book with a bedside lamp on is just the right recipe to get you ready for a good snooze.

3. It Stimulates the Mind

Research has shown that the progress of diseases like Alzheimer’s and Dementia can be slowed down and even prevented by getting enough mental stimulation. Reading is a great way of keeping your brain active and engaged – preventing it from losing power by “working out”.

4. It Improves your Memory

When you’re reading, you’re forcing your brain to remember the characters and plots within the book so that you can keep up with what’s happening. What’s really amazing is the fact that every new memory you make forges new synapses. This in turn helps to boost your short term memory.

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5. It Improves your Focus

Modern life has turned us unto multitasking machines rushing through a million things at once trying to fit everything into our schedules. But this has some serious negative repercussions on our stress levels, and even though it might not seem like it, dampens your productivity.

Reading has the opposite effect. It forces you to concentrate on just one thing at a time. You focus all you attention into the story, and the rest of the world takes a back seat for that time, so that you can absorb the story. Reading daily really helps you to learn how to focus and concentrate better on your everyday tasks.

6. It fosters Tranquility

Depending on the subject of the book, your reading could help make you feel more tranquil. Some books such as spiritual guides help lower your blood pressure calms down. If you’re suffering from mild depression you could also try reading a self-help book which could really help you to overcome mood disorders and gain a new perspective on things.

7. It makes you more Empathetic

Really living out a story in your mind could actually help you develop a better sense of empathy. According to a study published in the journal PLOS ONE in January 2013 this was proven. We all know that the way you express your feelings towards others really helps determine your state of mind, and a happy mind equals a happy body.

8. It Powers your Workout

Just like the power an upbeat song can have on your workout, a good book can help keep you on the stationary bike for an extra 10 minutes. Not only is this great for your brain, it’s also great for the health of your heart.

9. It Encourages Life Goals

Reading a true story about someone who made it out in one piece through a major life crisis, might inspire you to up the ante in your own life, set after your dreams and live a healthier and fuller lifestyle. In the same way, an inspirational message from a book can help transform a dull day into one where you look for the silver lining.

10. It’s Contagious

By reading on a regular basis, you could be inspiring others to read and thus helping them become aware of the health and lifestyle benefits that reading holds. 

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