Why Reading is Healthy for You

As a bibliophile, I could go on for hours about the joys of reading. From being immersed into a new world to expanding the confines of your imaginations to educating yourself on a different culture, reading is the window to the whole wide world!

But, if you’re looking for more practical reasons on why you should pick up a book, a magazine, or at least something with words on it… here are a few reasons why reading is healthy for you:

1. Strengthens your Memory 

We’re all fighting that age-clock threatening to steal our good looks and our mental agility. But not to fear, studies show that exercising your brain in engaging activities such as reading has the ability to stop the decline of your memory by 32%.

2. Relieves Stress

From stress-eating, to over-worrying, some of us might not have the most orthodox ways of relieving stress, but did you know that just six minutes of reading can reduce stress by 68%? At least that’s what a study by the University of Sussex in 2009 found.

Check out this article by The WallStreet Journal about the benefits of close reading.

3. Helps Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease 

Alzheimer’s Association defines Alzheimer’s disease as “a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior.

Alzheimer affects 1 in 9 (11 percent) of older Americans from ages 65+ in the United States. This epidemic is expected to, “grow each year as the size and proportion of the U.S. population age 65 and older continue to increase.”

A way to help offset the disease is to involve your brain in mental stimulating activities such as reading. Making mentally stimulating exercises a habitual behavioral pattern can influence how your brain ages overtime and its susceptibility to such a disease.

“Just as physical activity strengthens the heart, muscles and bones, intellectual activity strengthens the brain against disease.” – Dr. Robert P. Friedland

Read more of Dr. Friedland’s observations.

4. Improves your Sleeping 

If you’re an active member in the digital-mobile age (which, how could you not be) then perhaps you might find it increasingly difficult to sleep or even get a good night’s worth of sleep.

According to plushbeds.com, creating a bed-time ritual that involves reading could help your ability to fall asleep. But, be mindful of the type of material you’re reading while trying to fall asleep. Fifty Shades may not be the best novel to read before bed–you might find yourself staying up way past your bed-time.

5. Helps Combat Depression 

Everyday Health reports that 9percent of American Adults claim to suffer from depression. According to Bibliotherapy, reading might be an influential force in combating depression.

Read more about Bibliotherapy in this Huffington Post article.

And, if you haven’t read enough about the benefits of reading, check out whytoread.com’s article on how reading can save your life.

Has reading improved any aspects of your health?

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