Avid readers know that a good book can be a great escape. In addition to being a go-to hobby on rainy days and a great way to get away from the daily grind, reading can have a profound impact on mental health.
A 2013 study published in the journal Brain Connectivity used MRI scans to measure the effects of reading on the brain. The scans showed that reading not only triggered brain connectivity while reading, but also continued to do so for days afterward.
There is no better time than now for people to make positive changes, and many of those are rooted in personal growth. If that personal growth involves reading more, then the following are some ways people can find more time to get away with a good book.
Take a book to the gym. Weightlifting and reading might not be a match made in heaven, but taking an e-reader along with you to the treadmill, elliptical or exercise bike can be great way to pass the time while breaking a sweat. Instead of firing up a streaming service during your cardiovascular workout, bring an e-reader and read a book. That can make your workout twice as beneficial because you'll be working out your body and your brain at the same time.
Hit the books before bed. Many people find time to read right before going to bed each night. Reading before bed is a great time to get some reading in, and it also can benefit readers in a unique way. A 2009 study from researchers at the University of Sussex found that six minutes of reading before bed reduces stress by 68%.
Listen to books while commuting. While it takes some getting used to, listening to audiobooks is another way to indulge in a good book. Though various studies have suggested audiobooks can lead to lower levels of reading comprehension than reading traditional print books, people with hectic schedules may need to give a little to get a little. Professionals with long commute times can turn their daily drives to and from the office into opportunities to listen to audiobooks. It might not be quite the same as reading a print book, but it's still a great way to dive into a good story.
Turn the television off. Data collected from Nielsen in 2018 found that the average adult now spends nearly six hours per day watching television, videos on a smartphone or tablet and/or videos on devices connected to their televisions. Adults who want to find more time to read may need to just turn off their televisions and devices and spend more time reading than watching videos.
Reading more can be a great way to grow as a person and that growth can have a profound effect on readers' overall health.