Men's Health

7 Reasons 'Getting Lost in a Book' is Actually Good for You

7 Reasons 'Getting Lost in a Book' is Actually Good for You

Do you consider yourself to be a bookworm? Or perhaps you haven't read anything in years?

Science suggests that you might be missing out on substantial health benefits if you do not exercise regularly. You will be amazed at how quickly reading becomes enjoyable as part of your daily relaxation routine when you add it to it. It doesn't get better than the smell of a good old book or the snap of its spine. Plus, the battery never runs out, so there's no worry about that either. There is also some evidence to suggest that reading a page-turner can increase your happiness and health. However, despite the rise of e-books, one can safely assume that real books aren't going anywhere and that the benefits of reading are here to stay.

Many Americans who read e-books also read print books. Despite how much we appreciate the convenience of digital downloads and the lightening of the load, we still find it hard to let go of a good, old-fashioned read or a few classics. There is nothing wrong with adding reading books to the list of healthy habits.

Here are 7 reasons to get into the habit:

1. Enhances Intelligence

Beginning at a very young age, reading good books opens up a world of knowledge. Children who read (especially children's books) score better on reading tests and general intelligence tests. Children whose early reading skills are more vital may also have higher IQs later. 

Reading often can increase your brain power in addition to making you brighter. Just as jogging improves your cardiovascular system, reading usually improves your memory by exercising your brain. Regular reading may slow down the aging process, keeping minds sharp for longer. Age is associated with a decline in memory and cognitive function. Studies have shown that frequent mental exercise reduces mental decline by 32 percent.

2. Empathy can be developed through reading

It becomes easier to relate to others when you lose yourself in a good book. In particular, literary fiction can help readers understand what others are thinking by reading their emotions. There is a much more significant impact on those reading literary fiction than those reading nonfiction. 

3. Turning pages can help you understand what you're reading

    It's better to read a book than an e-book to remember what you read. As your fingertips feel the paper pages beneath them, your brain is provided with some context, leading to a deeper understanding of the subject you are reading. To reap the benefits of a good read, choose one with physical pages (and maybe one of the best available).

    4. It might help fight Alzheimer's

      A lot of your brain works when you read, and that's a great thing. Engaging in brain-stimulating activities such as reading, chess, or puzzles may reduce Alzheimer's disease risk by 2.5 times compared to those who do fewer stimulating activities in their spare time. It may help exercise the brain because inactivity is an early indicator of Alzheimer's disease, or it may help because inactivity increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

      5. Stress can be reduced by reading

        After a long day, a good book (and maybe a glass of wine) after a long day sounds so appealing. According to research, reading can be a great stress-reliever. Research has shown that reading may reduce stress by 68 percent. Reading a thoroughly fascinating book is the best way to escape the worries and stress of everyday life and spend some time exploring the author's world.

        6. A good night's sleep can be achieved by reading before bed

          Your body signals you to wind down and sleep by creating a bedtime ritual, such as reading before bed. You are more likely to relax by reading an actual book than zoning out in front of a screen before bed. A screen like an e-reader or tablet can keep you awake longer and even prevent sleeping. According to researchers, children are no exception: 54 percent sleep near a small screen and clock 20 fewer minutes of sleep. To help you sleep, turn to books before turning off the lights.

          7. The joy of reading is contagious!

            75 percent of parents wish their children could read more for fun, and the best way to encourage their children to become bookworms is to read to them. Although most parents stop reading aloud to their children once they can do it independently, research suggests that reading aloud to them throughout elementary school may inspire them to become frequent readers-meaning kids who read for pleasure five or seven days a week. Over 40 percent of regular readers ages six through 10 were read aloud at home, while only 13 percent were non-readers. Storytime plays a crucial role in sparking an interest in reading.

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