Reading is Fundamental to Good Health


When people talk about good health and improving their own health, they are more probably speaking about physical health. However, good health is more than just about the physical. The body and mind are interconnected, that just as much attention needs to be given to your mind.

When was the last time you read a good book or even a magazine of substance? If you have taken more than a few seconds to answer, it’s been too long. When the catchphrase came out years ago, “Reading is fundamental.”, never were truer words spoken. Although it was targeted to children, it is also “fundamental” for an adult’s overall health as well.

Reading helps with several main functions for the brain. Reading improves memory and lengthens the attention span. It increases the capacity of your working memory by involving brain functions, including visual and auditory processes, phonemic awareness, fluency, comprehension, and more. It rewires the brain and creates new white matter. Reading also heightens brain connectivity in the temporal cortex.

Reading is a habit. If you haven’t read in a while, it may take a little effort to get back into the habit of reading, but the effort will be well worth it. People read for a variety of reasons which include pleasure, to learn something new, to expand horizons, to relax, and more.

Try to identify a reason for you to start reading. Ask friends and family if they can suggest a good book to start with. Once you find an author you like, read everything they have written. You may also want to learn more about something that you have recently seen in the news or on a documentary.

If reading a whole book seems daunting, find a magazine that is of interest to you, but that also has substantial articles. Once you get “in the habit” of reading, it will be much easier to expand to more topics. By the way, it doesn’t matter if you read fiction or nonfiction, just start reading!

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