Your pastimes can significantly benefit your overall health. However, that doesn’t mean you need to practice yoga or hike every moment of the day. Instead, you can find less-energetic activities that offer perks. For example, reading teaches you new information or transports you to imaginary worlds. It also engages the most important organ in your body – your brain.
Here are three health benefits you can reap from this hobby.
1. Develop intellectual wellness
Many people rightfully worry about cognitive decline as they age. Researchers estimate that approximately 10% of people over 65 have Alzheimer’s disease. Luckily, reading preserves your mental state by keeping your mind active. It also helps you form new neurological connections each time you encounter fresh ideas.
Reading can also decrease the stress that contributes to chronic illness. For example, one study showed that picking up the right book can lower your tension by 68%. Chronic stress causes your body to release hormones such as cortisol that contribute to high blood pressure and diabetes when produced in excess.
The right reads can even help advance your career, leading to better health outcomes. For example, one in three American workers is drowning in the gig economy. This combined with low wages and an utter lack of benefits like retirement and health care coverage is devastating. So expanding your skillset through reading could help you move into a role that eases your financial burdens.
2. Maintain a healthy social life
Have you discovered that your social life has diminished since the pandemic? Many people find themselves going out less often, and the lack of socialization impacts their health. Loneliness can actually kill – it increases your chances of dying from all causes if you get sick.
However, visiting the library to pick out a new book gets you safely mixing and mingling with your community. Many such facilities still enforce mask restrictions even as local ordinances lift, making them cleaner spaces for people with compromised immune systems.
Another way reading can ignite your social life is by joining a book club. You can find one tailored to any interest, from gory horror tales to bodice-ripping romance. Meeting people who share your interest in literature can open doors to other activities. Perhaps you can go to the theater together to see the new filmd on made from your favorite novel.
3. Practice self-care
You may also be like many others and gravitate more to the introverted end of the personality spectrum. If so, enjoying a good book provides the perfect opportunity for alone time. If you’re a bubble bath fan with a bit of extra cash, a waterproof Kindle can become your best friend. Sink into lavender-scented relaxation while you lose yourself in a fantasy adventure.
De-stressing with the right book could even help you if it’s the pitter-patter of little feet you yearn to hear. This is because stress impacts your chances of getting pregnant by lowering your libido and causing you to neglect a healthy diet and exercise routine that affects fertility. So it’s much better to kick back and get in the mood with a romance novel than to sip wine if adding to your family clan is your ultimate goal.
Your pastimes can significantly impact your overall health. For example, sitting in front of the television and kicking back brewskis might relax you, but it can also dull your senses and add unwanted pounds to your waistline.
So why not consider reading to relax? You can reap various physical and mental health benefits while learning something new and escaping your world.