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How Reading Improves Cognitive Health



A man reads in a bedroom next to a window.
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We now know that hobbies, such as gardening and playing a musical instrument, can prevent cognitive decline. Well, it turns out there̵

7;s one more activity you can add to that list. According to an expert, even reading less than an hour a day is beneficial for your gray matter.

dr. Kristen Willeumier, author and neuroscientist, said just 15 minutes of reading a day is enough to improve brain health. She also indicated that she talks about long reading (no emails and texts). In other words, material that requires a significant investment of time (even if broken up into 15 minute increments) is best.

This is because long-form reading forces the brain to keep learning by filling it with characters and storylines or complicated concepts.

“[When] the brain learns, [it] forms these cognitive maps,” Willeumier said in an interview with mindbodygreen. “So, the more you read as you get older, still keeping your brain sharp.”

Studies seem to support her, showing that reading helps prevent cognitive decline over the course of a person’s life.

Willeumier said another way to increase brain activity is to learn how to read faster or flip through pages faster. However, she adds that while this is a great skill, you should still factor in the time quota of 15 minutes or more to ensure you reap the rewards.

If you’d like to follow Willeumier’s advice, here are some new releases to check out.

[Via mindbodygreen]




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