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.