“Literacy levels in America are bleak: 1 in 4 American children grow up without learning to read and 93 million Americans have basic or below-basic literacy. The downside is that the right to literacy is not extended to everyone; on the other hand, community efforts to improve literacy in America point to an understanding of its importance as a tool for personal growth that benefits society, too.” (http://aplus.com/a/what-reading-does-to-your-brain-is-fascinating)
Reading is a very complex task that requires several different regions of the brain to work together, and it exercises your brain differently than watching TV or even listening to music. Here’s a list of the top 5 amazing ways that reading keeps the brain young.
How reading keeps you young!
1. Mental Stimulation
Reading has a large role in how we think, work, record, and remember details. Studies have shown that staying mentally stimulated can slow the progress of Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia, since keeping your brain active and engaged helps to keep memory and thinking skills intact. Exercise isn’t just good for your body, but it’s also good for your brain. Keeping your brain strong and healthy requires that you exercise and challenge it on a regular basis. (http://www.rd.com/health/wellness/benefits-of-reading/)
2. Stress Reduction/Tranquility
No matter how much stress you have in all areas of your daily life, reading is a wonderful and healthy escape! A well-written novel can transport you to other realms, while an engaging article will distract you from your daily stressors. Complete immersion in a book means the body is less focused on its own tense muscles, and allows your body to relax by lowering your heart rate and easing the tension.
In addition to the relaxation that accompanies reading a good book, the subject you read about can more than likely bring about inner peace and tranquility. For example, reading spiritual texts can lower blood pressure and bring about an immense sense of calmness.
3. Improved Focus/Concentration
Everyday people spend most of their time multi-tasking, dividing time among working on a task, chatting, checking their phone, checking email, and sometimes even eating. This ADD-type behavior causes stress levels to rise and lowers productivity.
However, when you read a book, all of your attention is focused on what you’re reading, and you immerse yourself in the story. Try reading for 15-20 minutes before work and you’ll be surprised at how much more focused you are once you get to the office.
4. Memory Improvemen
When reading a book, you have to remember a multitude of details (characters, history, plots, sub-plots, etc). Every new memory you create builds new brain pathways and strengthens existing ones, which assists in short-term memory recall. Every time you read and encounter an unknown word, you figure out its meaning then store it in your short-term memory. Therefore, the more you read, the more you use your memory skills.
5. Improved Writing Skills
When you read well-written books, you tend to notice various writing styles of the different authors. So, when you engage in your own writing, you will more than likely adopt some of those styles into your own work. This is similar to the way artists (musicians, painters, etc), influence one another.
Reading is one of the cheapest forms of entertainment. Each book, magazine, or article you read will make you wiser and more intelligent. Reading is not only fun, but it has all the added benefits mentioned above.