Living to a ripe old age is something many of us desire, and a healthy lifestyle can dramatically increase your chances of achieving it. In this article, we’ll explore an important daily habit you should adopt if you want to live longer and stay healthy: reading. We’ll see why it’s so beneficial, how to incorporate it into your routine, and the amazing results you can expect! Regular reading could be the ultimate habit for longevity – read on to find out why!
Reading for half an hour a day is enough to increase your life expectancy.
The results of the study, published in Social Science & Medicine, reveal that reading novels for up to three and a half hours per week was linked to a 17% reduction in mortality risk over the 12-year follow-up period, while those who read more than that were associated a 23% reduction in mortality. Furthermore, considering all study participants, novel readers had an average life expectancy of nearly two years, higher than their counterparts who did not read.
To reach these conclusions, the researchers used data from 3,635 people over the age of 50 who participated in a larger health study. The questions asked related in particular to the frequency of reading novels and newspapers or periodicals. The groups were then divided into those who read no books (called “non-readers”), those who read up to three and a half hours a week (called “low readers”), and those who read more than three hours and half a week (called “strong readers”). Researchers have thus confirmed that reading for half an hour is enough to increase your longevity.
Interestingly, while reading newspapers or periodicals also contributed to extending the lifespan of participants, it did so significantly less significantly than reading novels. This can be attributed in part to the fact that, unlike reading novels which involves deep engagement and understanding of the content, reading newspapers or periodicals primarily involves skimming through headlines or summaries.
Reading is an excellent brain exercise and anti-stress remedy.
This benefit has been attributed to the mental stimulation provided by reading books, which improves cognitive health and keeps the mind sharp as you age. Reading encourages us to breathe and relax, reducing stress levels, which has a positive effect on physical health, strengthening our immune system and helping us live longer.
Reading reduces feelings of loneliness.
Besides improving brain health, reading can also reduce loneliness by providing an opportunity for social interaction, whether that’s discussing books with family and friends or joining book clubs where readers get together. to talk about their shared love of literature. This type of meaningful engagement with others is also linked to better overall health.
Reading is the refuge that keeps us safe from daily stress.
Reading can also provide an escape from everyday pressures, allowing us to explore different ways of thinking, learn new things, and expand our imaginations. Through this process, we gain new perspectives on ourselves and our relationships, which can lead us into healthier sections of life and potentially extend our lifespan.
Reading increases feelings of empathy.
According to a study published in Trends in Cognitive Sciences, reading novels can increase empathy and understanding of the emotions and experiences of others. Thus strengthening our bonds with others, which contributes to a longer and happier life. Furthermore, research indicates that engaging in this type of literature could broaden our understanding of the world and help us develop an outward-looking perspective – two important aspects of leading a meaningful life.
Reading has a relaxing effect.
The act of reading itself can also be very beneficial to physical health by providing an opportunity to relax and promoting quality sleep through its soothing nature. This is especially true when we read before bed, as it allows us to enter a state of rest more easily than if we use screens or engage in other activities like watch television.
Reading has other physical health benefits.
Regular reading of novels has been shown to slow the progression of degenerative eye diseases, such as macular degeneration, because it involves near vision, unlike television or computer screens which are some distance from our eyes. Finally, some studies have even suggested that actively engaging in stories through literature can lead to lower blood pressure and slow heart rate due to its calming effect on the body over time.