With winter just around the corner, you’ll no doubt find yourself spending more time indoors and partaking of your favorite leisure activities. While it may be tempting to curl up on the couch after a long day and binge watch your favorite shows, it’s much more rewarding and beneficial to pick up a book. Your brain is a muscle just like any other in your body, so give it a workout by reading a book and enriching your life experience. If you’re not convinced to put down the remote yet, check out these benefits of reading.
Keep Your Brain Happy. Reading is associated with increased brain activity, and studies show that reading increases blood flow to the areas of the brain that control cognitive and executive function. Keeping these parts of the brain stimulated is vital to overall health and combating potential memory loss and function, which become more of a concern as we age. Additional studies found that reading lowers your chances of overall mental decline by 32%. That’s definitely worth picking up a book for!
Expanding Your Vocabulary. Reading is a wonderful way to expand your vocabulary. While reading a book, you will find yourself picking up new words daily that you wouldn’t be exposed to otherwise. Having a dense vocabulary is a benefit in the workplace that will help you communicate more clearly and eloquently, and maybe even open up new opportunities for you.
Sleep Better. Time and time again we have been told that screen time is destroying our sleep cycle. Spending your last hour before bed reading versus on the phone or in front of the TV will greatly improve your sleep and overall energy levels. Many people find that reading before bed relaxes them and is an excellent way to quietly wind down without the harmful effects of blue light.
Supporting Your Local Library. Libraries are cornerstones of the community. They supply so much more than books. They also provide wonderful services to the community such as job search assistance, classes, workshops, and essential resources for those in need. By being a frequent patron of your library, you help reiterate the fact that the library is a valuable community resource and worthy of support and funding.
Find What Inspires You. Books have always been a source of knowledge and inspiration. Whether you’re looking to learn something new or just to escape into an imaginative new reality for a few hours, there’s a book out there for you. If you’re not sure where to start, consult a friend with similar tastes or consider joining a book club at your local library. There are also many wonderful online resources such as Goodreads, which allows you to track what books you’ve read, what you want to read, and even gives you suggestions on what to read next based on your current interests.
Think you don’t have time to read? Think again! Consider audiobooks as a way to integrate more books into your life. You can listen to an audiobook in the car, while doing chores, or even during a walk. Listening to an audiobook has the added benefit of engaging your listening comprehension abilities and may even improve your focus, as some find reading to be visually distracting.
However you choose to read, know that you will be enriching your mind and your life for years to come.