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Health & Fit 5 science-backed health benefits of reading — and how to make reading a daily habit

22:00  30 november  2020
22:00  30 november  2020 Source:   msn.com

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8 Science - Backed Reasons to Read a (Real) Book. Bookworms can see some serious perks to their health and happiness. How to Make a Cheesy Potato Casserole | Holiday Casserole Recipe. Not only does regular reading help make you smarter, but it can also actually increase your brain power.

Reading books benefits both your physical and mental health , and those benefits can last a lifetime. They begin in early childhood and continue through the senior years. In one study conducted in 2013, researchers used functional MRI scans to measure the effect of reading a novel on the brain.

a girl sitting in front of a book shelf: To read more, join your local library and choose books on topics that interest you. Luis Alvarez/Getty Images © Luis Alvarez/Getty Images To read more, join your local library and choose books on topics that interest you. Luis Alvarez/Getty Images
  • Reading consistently strengthens connections in the brain, improves memory and concentration, and may even help you live longer.
  • Reading can also reduce stress levels and prevent age-related cognitive decline.
  • To read more, set aside time every day to pick up a book, whether it's during your commute or before bed.
  • Visit Insider's Health Reference library for more advice.

From picture books and poetry to memoirs and newspapers, reading is a lifelong habit that can have powerful benefits for your health.

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The Health benefits of reading cannot be overstated. Reading offers profound physical and mental health benefits . Simply reading a book 30 minutes a day can confer numerous benefits such as You’ll improve your concentration spans and learn how to be more discerning in the face of so much

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Here are five proven health benefits of reading and tips to read more:

1. Reading strengthens connections in your brain

Reading facilitates new connections between different parts of the brain. A small 2013 study found that reading a novel increased communication between parts of the brain that control language processing. It also created long term changes in the bilateral somatosensory cortex, the part of the brain that processes sensory information.

Sabrina Romanoff, PhD, a clinical psychologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, says reading creates neurons in the brain, a process known as neurogenesis. Neurons are cells that send messages and transmit information between different areas in the brain.

"Reading material that requires thought, consideration, and effort to metabolize what's being described leads to the creation of new neurons in your brain," Romanoff says. "These neurons also increase new neuronal connections, both with each other and older networks, which accelerates processing speed."

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Reading can soothe like no other. Given that I’m a pretty high-energy person, reading forces me to sit and be still. This daily act of making myself be quiet and still has been nothing short of miraculous I really like all the comments I get.please help me more how to get Back to my reading habits again.

In this Essay on Reading is Good Habit will discuss the Benefits of reading . Great Pleasure: When I read a book, I read it for pleasure. I just indulge myself in reading and experience a whole new world. We must all read on a daily basis for at least 30 minutes to enjoy the sweet fruits of reading .

2. Reading prevents age-related cognitive decline

Cognition includes the ability to learn, remember, and make judgments. Attention and memory are the two aspects of cognitive functioning most likely to be affected by age. Scientists believe reading can reduce age-related cognitive decline and protect cognitive function.

A large 14-year study published in 2020 found those who read one or more times a week were less likely to have cognitive decline at 6-year and 14-year intervals. After 14-years, older people who read more often had a reduced risk of cognitive decline compared to those who read less often.

Reading is even associated with a lower risk of dementia. A very large 2018 study in China tracked people aged 65 and older over the course of five years and found late-life participation in intellectual activities like reading was associated with a lower risk of dementia several years later.

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14 Science Backed Ways Reading Improves Your Mind and Body (Infographic) - The Power of Ideas. Account Suspended. 5 Benefits of Reading : How a Daily Reading Habit Can Change Your Life. Read Every Day & Current Books. Benefits of reading daily . Mindfulness. The alchemist.

Not only do good reading skills benefit students academically, they are also a skill required for lifelong success. By learning to make reading fun, your child is more likely to develop a love of reading , encouraging better reading habits and making learning easier. Create a reading area.

3. Reading reduces stress levels

Research has found reading for just 30 minutes can reduce the physical and emotional signs of stress.

A small 2009 study of full-time undergraduate students compared the effects of yoga, humorous videos, and reading on stress levels. It found students who read news articles for 30 minutes experienced a decrease in physical markers of stress, like heart rate and blood pressure, compared to before they began the activity. They also had lower scores on stress surveys.


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The study concluded "neutral" reading material, or material that doesn't elicit a strong emotional feeling, is relaxing, and decreases arousal of the sympathetic nervous system which directs the body's response to stressful situations and danger. However, reading the news may not be relaxing for everyone. Instead, you can opt for novels, short stories, or other reading materials.

4. Reading may even help you live longer

Not only is reading beneficial for brain health, but it is also linked to a longer life. A large 12-year study published in 2017 found reading books is associated with a 20% reduction in risk of mortality compared to those who didn't read books.

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Reading may not cause you to live longer on its own, but it might be associated with an overall healthy lifestyle and a lower risk of early death.

5. Reading improves memory and concentration

While the brain isn't a muscle, it still benefits from exercise. Similar to how lifting weights makes our bodies stronger, reading is a cognitively demanding process that can strengthen memory and concentration.

When humans read, we create a "mental map" of written text. This mental map helps us process words we are reading and aids in knowledge recall and memory. Romanoff says a regular reading routine helps the brain "practice" mental processes that contribute to memory functioning.

"Our brains also mentally process written words as if we were writing them," Romanoff says. "These processes require mental effort and concentration. With continued reinforcement, there is a greater capacity for memory functioning."

A 2013 study of elderly men and women found people who participated in mentally challenging activities like reading and writing had a slower rate of memory decline earlier and later in life compared to those who did not engage in such activities.

How to make reading a habit

Uma Naidoo, MD, a nutritional psychiatrist and the director of nutritional & lifestyle psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, says that the easiest way to start reading more is to schedule it into your daily life.

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"Like with any activity that promotes our better brain health — such as how we eat, sleep, or exercise – we need to create space for these," Naidoo says. "Setting aside a half-hour or an hour, for example, before bed or during an afternoon break could be a good idea to make sure you are reading."

Other tips to start reading more include:

  • Keeping a book with you when traveling or commuting to work
  • Reading the news every morning
  • Reading books on topics you want to learn more about or are interested in
  • Reading a book before watching the movie version
  • Getting a library card
  • Be patient — reading, like any skill, takes time to develop

Insider's takeaway

Reading is an entertaining activity that doubles as an exercise for your brain. Reading, in general, can boost cognitive functioning, improve memory, and is even linked to a longer life.

"Each and every time we learn something new our brain forms new connections and neurons and makes existing neural pathways stronger or weaker," Naidoo says.

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Read the original article on Insider

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