Like that commercial that claims 15 minutes can save you on car insurance, reading a book for 15 minutes a day can improve your health. Reading has several benefits, such as improving concentration and memory, improving mental stimulation, expanding your vocabulary, improving your sleep quality, and reducing stress.
According to a 2009 University of Sussex study, reading for short periods of time can reduce your stress level by 68%. This is more effective than listening to music, walking, or drinking hot tea. How? Reading is shown to reduce your blood pressure and lower your heart rate, which in turn helps the muscles in the body relax.
Do you have trouble falling asleep? Read a book. Researchers have found that reading a physical book before bedtime can help you relax and have a more restful sleep. The key word here is a physical book. Studies have shown that physical books are better at bedtime than eBooks because they do not have light stimulation like those from e-reader screens.
Reading can also help slow down cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. Studies have shown that the more connection our brain cells have, the greater the chance of slowing down degenerative diseases. In a 2013 study published in the journal, Neurology, older adults who engaged in activities like reading, playing chess, or completing puzzles were two and a half times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s. When reading a book, we train our brains to remember a story’s characters, plots, and details. Remembering details creates new synapses in the brain, which helps us create more memory. The more we read, the more memories we make.
|Four tips to maximize your |
relaxation while reading:
1. Find an interesting book
2. Find a comfy well-lit place to read
3. Wrap up in a soft throw blanket
4. Sip on your favorite beverage
The mental benefits don’t stop there. Not only do you get your synapses firing but reading also improves your concentration. Focusing on the words and details and thinking about what you are reading helps improve your short-term memory. You might not be able to remember the name of your second-grade teacher, but you will be able to remember where you put your keys!
Maybe you’re still not convinced about the benefits of reading for yourself or think that you’re simply “not a reader.” Then I’d encourage you to try reading to your children or grandchildren. A 2019 study published in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics shows that children who are read to regularly in the first five years leading up to kindergarten are exposed to 1.4 million more words than children who are not. By reading to your children, they benefit by gaining listening skills, learning new vocabulary, and improving concentration and communication skills.
Here at Resource Consulting Group (RCG), we encourage taking time for self-care, which includes reading. We’re pleased to offer a client library in our lobby full of great books addressing various topics that impact your wellbeing. The best part is that the books are complimentary for our clients. For a complete list of books available, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This information is for educational purposes only and should not be considered investment advice or an offer of any security for sale.