Reading: Training The Brain

We regularly obsess over the best ways to exercise our bodies: how to trim them or strengthen them, what to feed them or what to keep away from them. But how often do we think about exercising our brains? The most complex organ and command center of the whole body, the small, internal three-pound biological structure is responsible for so many important functions, yet it tends to get ignored, even taken for granted.

From relieving stress to improving brain function to increasing empathy, books are capable of doing a lot more than just entertaining the people who enjoy them. In fact, reading is the best workout for your brain, and it can even improve your memory.

There are a lot of different ways you can treat your brain with love and care for its health that doesn’t require a doctor’s appointment, a prescription, or a trip to the gym. According to scientists, though, one of the best ways you can exercise your brain is reading, and the reason why is all connected to memory.

According to a study at the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation, mental stimulation like reading can help protect memory and thinking skills, especially with age. The authors of the study even suggest that reading every day can slow down late-life cognitive decline, keeping brains healthier and higher functioning for longer.

According to the graduate school’s director, Dr. Wade Fish (Northcentral University), reading has actually shown to have a slower rate of memory deterioration and the decline of other key mental capacities. This delayed decline means that older adults can stay mentally healthier for longer, which actually means reading can help people live longer.

Scientists at University of California, Berkeley, found that it can lower the levels of beta amyloid, a brain protein involved in Alzheimer’s, by keeping the mind cognitively stimulated. Reading has also been linked to slowing mental decline by keeping important parts of the brain working, and improving overall mental flexibility, an important component to developing and retaining memory.

You may not be able to see it, but your brain is one of the most important parts of yourself. Luckily, just be reading them, you can help improve your memory and exercise your brain in the most fun and effective way.

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