HOUSTON — Reading is one of the best ways to exercise your mind, but according to doctors, it’s also good for your overall health.
Reading could reduce the risk of developing dementia like Alzheimer’s disease. It can also reduce tension, your heart rate and could even help you live longer.
“It can help with one's sleep," said Dr. Jennifer Bahrman, UT Physicians Clinical Phycologist. "It can be really helpful for sleep hygiene to be a part of one's nighttime routine. It can build intellect as well.”
Dr. Bahrman said it's never too late to add reading into your daily routine.
Even just 6 minutes a day can be beneficial.
“Whether that’s a few pages here, a few pages there, it is helpful to build that as one's routine," Dr. Bahrman said.
If you choose to read from a kindle or even the computer, you’re already in good shape. But Dr. Bahrman said it is best to read paperback.
And as far as what’s best to read?
Data show the best health benefits come from fiction novels.
“It gives you an opportunity to build a storyline in your head. The imitative skills with that can be very useful," Dr. Bahrman said.
The more you read, the better, but it’s most valuable early and later in life. And reading at least 30 minutes a day is most advantageous.
Read more stories featured in our Health Matters series here.