During the winter months, it is easy to stay in and watch your favorite holiday programs whenever the weather is too cold for outdoor recreation. And while no one can fault you for catching a couple of those holiday classics on TV, what should you do if you get tired of watching TV? Instead of cozying up with your remote this winter, reach for a good book to pass the time! If your reading habits have been limited to Facebook posts or Twitter news feeds, now is the perfect time to give your brain power a boost by reading a book or two.
The Many Amazing Health Benefits of Reading
When was the last time you read an entire book? If you’re like many Americans, it may have been quite some time since you’ve enjoyed a book instead of browsing through headlines and current events online. If you don’t make a habit of reading books or substantial magazine articles regularly, you could be missing out on a wealth of health benefits, including:
1. Mental Stimulation
Numerous studies have shown that keeping your brain stimulated is one of the best ways to slow the progress and possibly prevent the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s. By keeping your brain engaged and active with a great book, you can help boost your brain power. Just like the other muscles in the body, the brain requires lots of exercise to stay healthy and strong.
2. Stress Relief
Whether the stress of the holidays is getting to you or you’ve had some recent issues come up in your daily life, let your stress fade away for a while as you get wrapped up in a good story. A well-written book can easily distract your worried mind and transport you to a far-off place. This distraction is ideal for letting those daily stresses drain away and perfect for a bit of relaxation when you need it the most.
3. Expand Your Vocabulary
The more you read, the more words your brain is exposed to. And the more often you’re exposed to new words, the more likely they are to slip their way into your regular vocabulary. Being well spoken and better able to articulate yourself is something that seems to be fading with the times, so why not take it upon yourself to sound more well read? With a larger vocabulary, you can easily keep up in social situations and even give your confidence a boost too.
When you read a substantial piece of work, your brain absorbs a ton of new information. Whether your brain picks up a bit of information on how to change a tire or you discover a better way to fold your sheets, the more knowledge you gain from reading, the better equipped you’ll be to tackle new challenges.
5. Improved Memory
When you read a novel, your brain has to remember character names, their backgrounds, story arcs and plot changes to get through to the end of the story. While that may sound like a lot of work, for the human brain it’s relatively simple. But the great health benefit to you is the fact that each time your brain creates a new memory, it strengthens and creates new brain pathways to help keep your memory sharper.
6. Better Focus
In today’s world of computers, smartphones and the internet, it’s totally normal to have your attention pulled in a million directions at once, which can be very mentally exhausting. However, when you take the time to read a book, you are allowing your brain to decompress and focus on one simple task. Even with just 15 to 20 minutes of reading each day, your ability to focus and concentrate will improve tremendously.
7. Improved Writing Skills
Reading comprehension goes hand-in-hand with the ability to write more clearly. Similar to expanding your vocabulary through reading, when you read your brain absorbs all of that perfect sentence structure and grammar. Over time, this will help to improve your own writing as well.
8. Strong Critical Thinking Skills
If you’ve ever read a mystery novel and been able to figure out the puzzle before finishing the story, then you’ve put your critical thinking skills to good use. From solving everyday mishaps to preventing accidents around the home, reading gives your brain a boost to help process important details more clearly.
Snuggle Up with a Good Book This Winter at The Cypress of Charlotte
At The Cypress of Charlotte, we want to ensure that all of our residents enjoy a safe and relaxing winter season. So instead of spending those colder days inside watching TV, reach for a book and reap the many benefits of reading! Want to learn more about life at our continuing care retirement community? Contact us today to schedule a tour.