The Health Benefits of Reading
By Sara Butler
Congratulations! By reading this post you are actually taking an active role in improving your health! It’s been discovered that reading is good for your health in a myriad of ways, from stress management to emotional intelligence. Here are some of the health perks that reading has to offer.
It Stimulates Your Brain
Have you ever read a book and gotten so engrossed in it, you felt like you were there? Well, it turns out that reading stimulates your brain as if you really are living the experience. Researchers in Spain found that subjects who read the word “cinnamon” had the olfactory (or sense of smell) regions of their brain stimulated. So, if you felt like you really were taking out Voldemort at the battle of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series, your brain probably thought you were!
It Increases Happiness
Life experiences have been found to make people happier than material things, but that’s not all. A study published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology found that things designed to enhance or create experiences, just like books, are great ways to increase happiness. Video games, musical instruments, and video games also made the list!
It Helps with Stress
Getting lost in a book may be the ultimate way to relax. Reading has been proven to be a great way to beat stress, and has reduced stress in studies as much as 68 percent. That beats out listening to music, drinking a cup of tea, or taking a walk. Reading was found to ease muscle tension and slow the heart.
It’s Good for the Brain
A good book can also help to boost your memory. A study at Rush University Medical Center found that mentally stimulating activities such as reading can actually slow the rate of cognitive decline. Other studies have found that brain exercises such as crossword puzzles and chess help to slow the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
It Takes You Outside Your Bubble
One of the best things about reading is that it helps you to see the world from another point of view. Reading helps you to experience other societies and get to know other people (even if they’re fictional), which can help open your mind to the world around you.
So kick back, relax, and tuck into a good book. You never know where it can take you -- and your health!
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Mission Viejo, Calif.