(AscendHealthy.com) – Most of us want to be healthier. That can be tough on rainy days. Now, there’s a great activity we can engage in to promote better health the next time it’s raining outside, or even if the sun’s shining. Fortunately, it’s as easy as picking up a book!
Reading is Fundamental — And It’s Good for Our Health, Too!
When we think about making healthy choices, we often consider diet and exercise. Regular medical care might be on that list, as well. But there’s also a passive way to get health benefits, right at home. Reading, research shows, may strengthen our brains and actually make us healthier.
Reading lights up areas of the brain related to the feelings the information evokes. It also increases our ability to empathize with others and promotes mental health and well-being. It builds vocabulary and may inspire us to become more active, depending on the subject matter. Reading may also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related types of cognitive decline.
Sometimes, Being Sedentary Really Is Okay
One of the biggest barriers to being healthy comes from stress. When we get “stressed out,” we’re more likely to overeat, stop exercising, sleep poorly, and neglect self-care opportunities. While it’s crucial to move and stay active to help combat stress, being sedentary for a while — and enjoying the company of a good book — may also help reduce stress.
It doesn’t have to be a print book, either. Many people like to read ebooks, or they choose an audiobook for convenience or due to visual impairments. Reading (or listening) to a good book may be beneficial, no matter the exact way we go about it. There are all kinds of ways to have an experience with books, in either written or audio form. Some research indicates that books may even help us live longer.
The Kind of Book You Read Doesn’t Matter
Whether we like mysteries and thrillers or even want to read a textbook to learn something new, the kind of book isn’t what matters. The act of being engaged with it is the important part. Focusing on a book, and feeling like a part of something through our experiences with it, may help to reduce depression, as well.
One study indicated that print books may be best, but only because the brain tends to read and process them more slowly than when books are in a digital format. The best book is the one a person wants to read and enjoys reading. Whether that’s in print, online, or in an audio format, it all counts to help our brains stay active and healthy into our later years.
No matter the style of book or the genre, we may all benefit from checking out the merits of a good book. Listening to an audiobook while jogging or curling up on the sofa with an e-reader or print book may all be good ways to engage our minds, destress from the day, and give our brains what they need to remain in good health.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension
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