Posted on Dec 24, 2019 in Senior Activities
A Yale study showed that reading for 3 ½ hours each week extends your life by 23 months. Readers really do live longer!
So, what other advantages can you reap if you regularly lose yourself in a good book besides the promise of a lengthier retirement?
If you’re reading, particularly when the book is heavily narrative-driven, you’ll sharpen your ability to focus. You’ll need to remember the characters and to follow the storyline as it develops.
Since you’re highly unlikely to flick directly to the end after reading the first chapter, you’ll get to hone your focus on a sustained basis.
Reading has long been known to stimulate brain activity and improve overall mental health.
Both of these areas are particularly relevant as you get older. By keeping your brain occupied and stimulated, you’ll help lessen the risk of Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.
Whether you prefer curling up on the couch with a physical book or you embrace the benefits of reading e-books, reading in all its forms ensures your brain stays in peak condition.
You’re never too old to stop learning and reading ensures you get a constant input of stimulating ideas and snippets you might otherwise not be aware of.
Whether you’re reading a news website or a historical novel, all forms of reading matter tend to impart some form of knowledge. Take advantage of the extra time you’ve got on your hands to continue expanding your knowledge base.
Life’s not all about learning, though…
Reading doesn’t need to involve spending money on costly hardcovers or first editions. You have plenty of opportunity to pick up a range of reading materials without spending a cent.
The traditional library might be struggling in the advent of cheap online book retailers and e-books, but they’re ideal for grabbing a bunch of books free of charge.
If you use the internet, you can read widely about anything that interests you without opening your wallet. From digital versions of your favorite magazines to news sites, from entertainment to education, there’s nothing you can’t unearth with a simple search.
Take full advantage of all the free reading material at your disposal and free up that cash for another vacation!
Watching a stimulating TV show or exposing yourself to the blue light emitted by smartphones and tablets is absolutely not the way to wind down and ease toward sleep.
Reading, by contrast, is a solid way of relaxing your way into a dream-filled slumber.
If you find it tough dropping off to sleep, try picking up a book and see if it improves things. As a bonus tip, pop a couple of drops of lavender essential oil under your pillow. Let the scent draw you toward sleep as you devour that page-turner.
Life always presents us with problems. That doesn’t change as you get older.
By making sure your analytical thinking skills and decision-making abilities are sharp – this is called fluid intelligence – you’ll better equip yourself to handle life’s manifold problems.
Reading keeps this fluid intelligence intact, especially valuable since it naturally dips as you get older. Every little bit helps, right?
Reading has long been attributed to relieve stress.
As you’ll know, retirement might be relaxing in some ways but it can be remarkably stressful in others. Throw in health concerns and bereavement and you can often find yourself stressed or anxious.
Transport yourself into another world between the pages of a great book and forget all about medication, hospital appointments, and pensions for a few hours. De-stress yourself the easy way without needing to leave home.
There are many types of reading material that can help you feel calm.
You might find self-help books or spiritual books induce a tranquil feeling. It could be that an escapist novel or an autobiography calm you most.
If you find yourself having a tough time as you get older, try grabbing a book and letting your worries fade away between the pages.
If you’ve found yourself stuck in a rut now you’re retired, you might find your day-to-day unstimulating. This can be compounded if you have mobility problems and you can’t get out and about much.
Nothing can stop you from traveling in your mind, though. Throw yourself into a book and let your imagination wander.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this brief exploration of the benefits of reading for seniors. At our active senior living communities, we always have activities going on, but also have calm areas if you want to stay in and read.
If you’re finding it hard to manage on your own now you’re getting older, get in touch with us here at Landmark Senior Living. We’ll be delighted to arrange for a free tour of one of our senior living communities.