Tap into the Health Benefits of Reading

Oct 16 18:17 2013 Quincy Bioscience Print This Article

What’s an easy and fun way to boost your brain power? Head to your local library — research suggests that feeding your brain with new ideas, people and places you meet in books, enriches your cognitive health.

There’s nothing like reading to ramp up your cognitive health. When you were young you probably were told that good reading skills are fundamental to navigating the world around you.

Now it appears that this aphorism is quite literally true. Research has shown that reading is a stimulus that is important to a healthy,Guest Posting aging brain.

Areas stimulated by lighting up the brain, intellectually, such as reading and doing crossword puzzles have been studied and compared against areas where brain cell damage other memory problems develop during the course of natural aging. People who were involved in activities that challenged the brain’s resources had the best looking brain scans.  

Most important is this — in the various ways studied that stimulate the brain reading came out on tops in stimulating pathways important to memory and cognition. Where might you gain the most brain stimulation from reading? Check out hundreds, thousands of books to stimulate your brain at your local library.

Light up Your Life at the LibraryWhen you think about it, the free public library is somewhat of a phenomenon. Think about it this way. At your local library you can tap into history, culture, science, politics, philosophy, the arts, great fiction and nonfiction from the best storytellers on the planet.

What’s more, almost every book you take home is free (sometimes there are small charges for brand new releases) to enjoy for four weeks. Where else could you do delve into a new adventure for hours of time and not pay for it?

What if you walked into a dress shop and said you’d like to wear a dress for a month and then return it a month later at no charge to you. Could you go back to that same store and “check things out” over and over again for free? Of course not — this is why free libraries are such great deals. 

Here’s another thing. Sure you can read books and magazines on your smart phone, e-readers, computers and tablets, but what’s missing is the contagious spirit that comes with reading with readers all around you — at the library.

Did you know there are about 123,291 libraries of all types in the U.S.? Libraries come in many varieties from public libraries and school libraries to academic libraries such as university, college, and community colleges libraries to special libraries. There are also business and corporate libraries like medical, law, religious, armed forces and government libraries.

Do you know what U.S. library holds the most volumes? A volume is one book that has been printed duplicate times so one library may have many copies. The Library of Congress in Washington D.C. has the most volumes with 32,124,001 million volumes of books. Harvard University comes in second with 15,826,570 volumes.

Looking for help finding something? There are 150,000 professional libraries in the U.S. and over 250,000 paraprofessional library workers and that doesn’t include other librarian support staff.  If you can’t find what you want at your library, no problem. Most libraries take advantage of the interlibrary loan system so you can probably check out any book on the planet.

Novel Stimulation from Reading NovelsRecent says that one in seven elderly Americans have had problems with memory. Anything that challenges the brain to try new things, remember new rules and stimulate seemingly unconnected neural pathways is important to our health at any age.   

Breakthroughs in neuroscience are helping us better understand how the brain works. As we grow older, the health and vitality of our brains becomes more dependent on how we use it. As we age, the health and vitality of our brains becomes more dependent on how we use it. Feeding your brain right can offer new life to aging neural pathways and a great way to travel the world without ever having to take off your shoes in line again. Take a journey and brain will thank you.

Research is now suggesting that reading may offer new opportunities to improve your cognitive health as you are age. Learning while doing, and having fun at the same time seems to be a potent formula for good brain health.

The very act of reading this sentence requires brain fuel. Every second, every ‘thinking’ action of the day, your brain requires nutrition to keep running. Your brainpower has incredible potential when it is maintained and kept fit.

So visit the local library and get yourself something good to read — you deserve it. Best of all, for the price of library card you have bought yourself a journey to anywhere you choose.

Reading Tips that Last

  • Improved vocabulary. Read a variety of types of material and you may find that you start using some of the words that you took note of or wrote down to practice using.
  • Improved memory. The more you read the more apt you may be to boost your memory. Research has suggested that reading helps your cognitive abilities so keep reading!
  • Improved writing skills. The more you read well written material, the more it will help you “see” how words, paragraphs and chapters flow when carefully created.
  • Improved tranquility. Reading is a great way to alleviate stress and focus on the world on the pages in front of you instead of your real world challenges. Lost yourself in reading and reading will reward you.

Books, Books EverywhereKeep reading no matter where you are whether you are at the library or at home. As you age, reading is a positive way to keep your brain fit.

Brain strength, like muscular strength is often thought to be a use it or lose it proposition. The more you work out your brain, the better you’ll be able to process and remember information. Novelty stimulation, like reading a new novel is a terrific way to exercise the brain.

The point is to challenge the brain where it is weak and stimulate those pathways for long-term brain health. Most of us are creatures of habit so the more you read the more apt you will start researching what you are going to next while you’re reading the book you enjoy today. Who knows, your next book may be even better than the book you can’t put down right now.

Don’t stop reading — your brain knows you’re on to something good! 

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About Article Author

Quincy Bioscience
Quincy Bioscience

Mark Underwood is a neuroscience researcher and President and co-founder of Quincy Bioscience, a biotech company located in Madison, Wis. that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of novel technologies to support cognitive function and other age-related health challenges such as memory. Mark is also creator of popular brain health supplement Prevagen. Mark has been taped as an expert in the field of neuroscience for The Wall Street Journal Morning Radio, CBS and CNN Radio among others. Mark is also a contributor to "The Brain Health Guide" which highlights the research at Quincy Bioscience and offers practical tips to help keep healthy brain function in aging. More information can be found at www.quincybioscience.com

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