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It’s Monday so it’s time to see how we did on the #HealthyHabits2017 challenge this past week? The weeks challenge was to read a total of 20mins a day as reading has been shown to improve your health.

We mentioned in one of our tips recently that a recent study found that people who read books 30 minutes a day, live longer than those who do not read at all. On average book readers live 2 years longer than non-readers. Reading is pretty enjoyable but it’s definitely one of those things you need to take time out for, so in this era of modern life - if it isn’t one of your main loves it’s hard to keep up momentum just because of time.

But as mentioned above reading can be super good for you. Not only do readers tend to live a bit longer there are some other benefits such as that it can improve your memory. Reading engages different parts of your brain and increases its capacity for other mental activity which has an impact on keeping your memory sharp. There are also studies to suggest that reading can help prevent Alzheimer’s. The more you read the more your protect your memory in essence.

Reading can also improve your brain connectivity which then improves your brain function and also your attention span. Reading fiction can increase a persons ability to empathise which can make you more considerate, which might also lead to acts of kindness and we know already that those are good for you.

Reading is also relaxing and this can reduce your stress levels which is good for tonnes of stuff in your body. Researchers from the University of Sussex found that you only need to read for 6 minutes to cut your stress level in half. So really, reading is pretty darn good for you and can improve your quality of life.

SO HOW DID IT GO?

I currently have about four or five books on the go that I want to finish. One is a science-fiction which I mostly picked up because it had a nicely designed cover, another one is a book on introversion, two are about creativity, ideas and psychology and the last one is about a lady who went a whole year without spending any money outside of her regular monthly house costs.

I was looking forward to this week and it started well, I decided to read before I went to sleep like I used to. In January I read a book called Annihilation which is the first book in the Southern Reach Trilogy. I had downloaded Authority the second book onto my phone and only gotten about two chapters in before I stopped. I was lucky at the start of the week as I wasn’t in the UK and when I got back this challenge sort of fell off the radar as my boyfriend goes to bed a lot earlier than I do and I can’t interrupt his sleep just so I can read. So the main problem from this week has been finding a time of day to fit it in.

I did make up for falling off the wagon though as this weekend I made time for myself to have a long soak in the bath with a book. I set my timer for an hour on my phone and just read a long chapter from Quiet, the book on introversion. It was about how the 2008 Recession could have potentially been prevented if more introverts had have been encouraged to speak up a bit at work.

I felt really good after the bath and like I’d learned something. I think when I’m able to have more me time, a bath is  one of my favourite things to do so maybe I’ll start reading more in there. I think something that would help is to make it a goal to finish all the books I’m currently juggling before I start anything new. So maybe I’ll make it my mission over the next few months to finish at least one of those books a month. Challenge done.

Next up we have smile and laugh purposefully for 5 minutes every day. This one should be interesting!

 

Image via Designspiration

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