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No matter fact or fiction, reading is a hobby that is good for people of all ages, but especially those in later life. From boosting brain power to reducing stress, reading is a pastime that’s not just enjoyable but also beneficial for your health.
Studies have shown that reading can slow the onset of (and possibly even prevent) Alzheimer’s and Dementia, since mental stimulation keeps the brain active. Just like any other muscle in the body the brain requires exercise to keep it healthy and strong, so to your brain, reading is like a good run on the treadmill.
Not only does exercising your brain through reading help to keep it healthy and strong, it also helps your short-term memory. Regular ‘workouts’ through reading can help your mind become sharper and increase memory retention.
Later life can be a stressful time for many people but reading has been proven to help reduce heart rate and release muscle tension. When it comes to unwinding there is no better method than getting lost in a good book.
Reading in bed has long been considered a guaranteed way to fall asleep. Distracting yourself from everyday stresses, turning off bright lights like televisions or tablets and focussing on a different narrative encourages the body to relax and induces better sleep. Just maybe avoid reading a horror or thriller.
Today, books are more accessible than ever before, many are available on the internet and can be downloaded to your tablet or kindle. If your eyesight is poor you could listen to an audio book, or ask your friends or family to read to you when they visit.
If you’ve read a good book the first thing you want to do is recommend it to a friend and chat about the characters and plot. But you could go one step further and start a book club in your community or home and get like-minded people together regularly to chat as a group and enjoy a good cup of tea.