Health Advocate Blog

How reading can benefit your health

Do you enjoy curling up with a compelling story? Good news: reading is a healthy activity that can increase your well-being in many ways. Read on to learn how reading books can benefit you!

It’s a great way to unplug. Instead of staring at your tablet or smartphone, put them down and grab a book instead. There are many health benefits of unplugging, and combining it with reading can further help boost enjoyment and reduce stress.

It’s low-cost entertainment. If you want to read books for free, you can do so by visiting your local library, getting a library card, and checking out books. There’s no cost to you—just make sure you bring your books back to the library before the due date to avoid late fees. Don’t live near a library? Go online to find websites that sell discounted books, or borrow a book from (or trade books with) a friend.

Reading gives you an opportunity to learn something new. Are you curious about trying yoga, cooking new meals, or learning to paint? Your local library will likely have books about these hobbies and interests, and many more. Reading a book about a new interest is a great way to get started!

Reading fiction may help you develop your analytical skills. When you read a story, you may find yourself trying to solve a mystery, figure out a plot twist, or better understand a metaphor.

Love to explore? Reading helps you journey to other worlds. Reading is an adventure! Books take you to other places and situations you may not be able to experience in real life.

Reading gives you a way to connect with others. Looking to make some new friends? Consider joining a book club. Check into whether your local library offers one, or join a free website like to find a book club in your area.

Reading can even help you become more empathetic. Books can help you see other people’s perspectives and open you to feelings you haven’t felt before, both of which can make you more empathetic.

It’s a good stress reliever, too. Jumping into a good story can make you forget about factors in your own life that may be stressing you out. Consider carrying a book with you to work so you can do a little reading on your lunch break.

It can make your next run more interesting. If you get bored just running on the treadmill, a book may be able to help you keep your interest—bring one with you next time you hit the gym. Be sure to put the book on the holder—don’t hold it while you run.

Books can help boost your brainpower. Studies show that regularly participating in brain-stimulating activities, like reading, may help your mind keep functioning smoothly as you age.

It helps promote sound snoozing. To promote better sleep, sleep experts often recommend doing relaxing, de-stressing activities before going to bed. If you’re reading in bed or just before bedtime, be sure to read under a dim light—bright light actually signals the brain that it’s time to wake up!

If you are a Health Advocate member with access to our Wellness Coaching program, call your Wellness Coach today for more expert tips on how to increase your health and well-being!

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