Five Health Benefits of Reading
In our modern world of heightened social media, our reading habits can often be limited to reading tweets, short Facebook posts, or even comments on a photograph. However, as I’m writing this for a book focused audience I’m hoping that all or many of you read books regularly and as a result are reaping the benefits that reading has to offer. Here are some of the key benefits for me and I’m sure you can think of many more.
- Reducing Stress
Whether studying, working or in retirement we all face degrees of stress in our lives and relationships. Sometimes we need to escape, leave all our stresses and challenges behind and lose ourselves in a good book. Get lost in the words and immerse yourself in the adventure within your hands and put some space between you and the real-life grind. Pressure and stress can slip away when you lose yourself in a good book.
2. Improving Memory
Reading in itself is an exercise that enhances our memory and concentration. A book may present characters, plots, dates, and facts that need to be retained and recalled, which stimulate and improve our brain function on a variety of levels. It is proven that reading can lead to enhanced connectivity and the creation of new synapses in the brain opening new areas to memory. It is also confirmed to slow aging and reduce cognitive decline as we reach our more senior years.
3. Increasing Your Knowledge
Everything you read, all the characters, names, locations, facts and figures fill your head with new information. The more knowledge you have, the better equipped you are to face challenges that the world may throw at you. It also helps you engage in conversations outside of your everyday norm, which helps to create new relationships and networks, both in your professional and personal life.
4. Extending Your Vocabulary
This is somewhat linked to the point above; the more you read, the more words you get exposure to. Whether an educational text or a weekend read, you will be exposed to many new words and phrases that when used in context, can improve your communication skills. If you’re reading on an electronic device, you have the advantage of being able to look up the word and see dictionary definitions and even a translation. If you’re reading a traditional paper book, then maybe there are references and notes that you can refer to for or perhaps you keep a dictionary and thesaurus handy so that you can look things up and understand them further.
5. Good Health
Like any other muscle, the brain needs regular exercise to keep it in good shape. Studies have shown that staying mentally stimulated and alert can slow the onset and progress of conditions such as Alzheimers and Dementia as maintaining activity in the brain, as with any part of your body keeps it strong. You’ve heard the phrase “use it or lose it”, and this applies equally to the brain and your mind.
So pour yourself a cup of tea, or treat yourself to a glass of wine, put your feet up, and enjoy. Reading time is not a luxury–it’s an essential part of our mental and social well-being. And if you’re looking for something new to read, head over to our Brookstore to see what’s available.
After 30 years in the global insurance market and living in 3 countries, Jacqui Hodges headed to Barbados where she now pursues writing and her passion for food, travel and books.
A huge animal advocate, her home isn’t complete without a foster kitten or three. In addition to volunteer work she writes media content for animal charities.
Favourite book: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
Favourite brunch dish: avocado toast with tomato and chilli