7 Ways Reading Books Can Be Good for Your Health

While you may have been taught the importance of reading at a young age,  the fact is more Americans are reading fewer books overall, raising  questions about the possible health impacts.

1. Reading Books Can Help You Manage Stress

While reading may help reduce stress when you’re managing a mental  health condition, such benefits can also extend to everyday stress  management.

2. Reading May Improve Your Mental Well-Being

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, reading helps improve mental well-being by reducing stress and helping to provide a healthy escape.

3. Books Increase Comprehension and Vocabulary in Young Readers

Whether you’re reading to a baby or toddler, or if an older child has  started reading on their own, book-reading is a healthy habit because it  can help increase comprehension and vocabulary.

4. Reading Helps Adolescents With Self-Identity

Identity development is a key component of adolescence. While research suggests that  self-identity is influenced by a combination of life events, maturity,  and close relationships, reading may also play a role.

5. Reading Increases Empathy and May Improve Relationships

When you read a book to a baby or toddler, you’re helping them with  brain development that extends beyond language development — you are  also contributing to their emotional learning.

6. Reading Improves Cognitive Function — Even as You Age

While reading books can help children build cognitive skills as part of  their healthy development, such benefits can also extend to older  adults.

7. Reading Books May Help You Live Longer

While regular exercise and a healthy diet are just some of the ways you  can extend your lifespan, the cognitive effects of reading books may  even help you live longer.

How to Jump-Start a New Book-Reading Habit

- Choose a topic you’re interested in, as this will help you maintain the habit. - Start with short stories and work your way up to longer-length fiction novels.