5 Benefits of Reading as You Grow Older

Sunrise Senior Living  |  February 2, 2019
5 Benefits of Reading as You Grow Older
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Most of us know physical exercise is good for our health. It helps lower the risk for health problems ranging from cancer to heart disease. Like the body, it’s also important to exercise the mind to protect cognitive health.

A few ways you can give your brain a workout include:

  • engaging in games like cards, puzzles, and board games
  • watching your diet and monitoring your cholesterol
  • tackling new hobbies and pastimes so your mind continues to grow
  • participating in lively discussion of current events with friends.

In recognition of National Library Lover’s Month, we have one more suggestion for exercising your brain: reading. Spending time reading every day, whether it’s books, magazines, or the local newspaper, offers a variety of health benefits.

5 Ways Reading Promotes Better Aging

  1. Protects cognitive health: People who read every day are constantly learning new things. It might be about a city or country where the story takes place or about a career a character in the book is pursuing. That increase in knowledge helps give the brain the workout it needs to stay healthy.
  2. Maintains concentration: Reading also helps seniors maintain or improve their ability to concentrate. In a culture obsessed with multi-tasking, attention spans seem to be decreasing. Getting absorbed in a good book can help you improve your concentration skills.
  3. Reduces stress: Another health benefit of reading that isn’t as obvious is stress reduction. The newest thriller by your favorite author or an interesting article in a magazine dedicated to one of your hobbies can help you forget about your troubles for a while. That’s important because stress is linked to negative behaviors like overeating, smoking, and excessive drinking.
  4. Improves memory: Once you retire and leave the working world behind, it can be easy to slip into a routine that includes watching television for long periods of time and engaging in too many passive activities. Reading requires you to focus and remember the details of the story. That recall helps maintain or improve memory.
  5. Provides opportunities to connect: Older adults who enjoy reading might also find it provides an opportunity to connect with and meet new people. Area libraries and bookstores often host book clubs for readers of all ages. Many are free to join. If you don’t have a book club nearby, you can use these tips to start one of your own.

Life Enrichment and Senior Living

One reason older adults choose to move to a senior living community is the opportunity to participate in life enrichment activities every day. From book clubs and art classes to wellness programs and meditation, there is something for every resident to enjoy.

The best way to learn more is by touring a senior living community in person. Most will encourage you to participate in activities and programs with residents when you visit. Call the Sunrise Senior Living community nearest you to schedule a private tour today!

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