The many benefits of reading

Metro Creative

There has never been a better time to be a reader. Self-proclaimed book nerds and those who look forward to the next book club gathering can rejoice knowing that a good story isn’t the only benefit associated with reading. In fact, there are numerous health benefits to cracking a book.

  • Reading slows cognitive decline. Natural aging results in a decline in memory and brain function over time, but reading can help. According to research published in the journal Neurology, reading may help slow that process and keep minds sharp.
  • Reading improves concentration and focus. Technology draws a lot of attention, and those fast processing times and almost instant gratification can shorten attention spans. Reading requires undivided attention and focus, which can improve one’s ability to concentrate.
  • Reading produces a sense of accomplishment. Reading anything from a newspaper article to a novel helps people check off measurable goals. When done reading a given piece, the mental boost from finishing can enhance your mood.
  • Reading is free entertainment. Provided a person gets books from a library or a loaner from a friend, reading is free. It’s possible to educate oneself, travel to far off lands or even solve mysteries having making a major financial investment.
  • Reading enhances literacy. Frequent reading introduces the reader to new vocabulary and information. This enhances both literacy and intelligence.
  • Reading leads to higher intelligence later on. A study of 1,890 identical twins in the United Kingdom found that the twins who had early reading skills seemingly had more positive results for higher intelligence later in life.
  • Reading can help a person relax. Reading may help reduce stress and even induce relaxing feelings so that a person can drift off to sleep. A 2009 study by Sussex University researchers showed that reading may reduce stress by as much as 68 percent. Furthermore, reading takes a person away from screens (provided they’re reading paper books and not e-books), which can contribute to losing 20 minutes of sleep on average, according to research published in Pediatrics.

There are many reasons to curl up with a good book, as reading is beneficial to both mind and body.

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