Reading is considered a form of leisurely entertainment but did you know it can also be beneficial for your health? According to experts, regular reading can have multiple positive impacts on your overall health and wellbeing. And the reading habit can extend from newspapers to fiction and non-fiction novels to even comic books!
While reading comes naturally to many as a hobby, the habit can also be easily developed. Make it a night-time habit, like reading for 30 minutes before bed. It will also promote a good sleep cycle. One can carry a book always to keep reading even when commuting.
Here are health benefits of regular reading:
Research shows that reading can facilitate new connections across different parts of the brain. It also stimulates parts of the brain responsible for processing sensory information. MRI scans have shown the effect of reading influencing the complex neural circuit in the brain.
Additionally, just like your external muscles, the brain also needs exercise. While it cannot do crunches and squats, reading is the equivalent of exercise for the brain. The act of reading can make the brain stronger as it is a very cognitively demanding process. It can strengthen memory and concentration.
Delay ageing effects
As proven in multiple studies in the past decades, reading can actually help delay the effects of ageing on our cognitive abilities. Cognitive abilities decline with age. Attention and memory are especially affected by ageing. Scientists believe that regular reading over the course of a lifetime can actually safeguard cognitive function. In a 2018 study from China, reading was also related to delayed dementia in old age.
Even 30 minutes of reading can reduce both physical and emotional stress. According to a study conducted with reading against other stress-releasing activities like yoga and watching humorous videos, reading was found to be the most relaxing. A study published in 2017 suggested that reading books could reduce the risk of mortality by 20%. Reading can also positively influence lifestyle and health.