Reading and Health

Sant Jordi’s Day is approaching, an endearing day for Catalonia, where roses and books flood the streets of our cities. Since 1995, UNESCO declared April 23rd as World Book Day. Dr. Farrera Sabioncello, member of Top Doctors, highlights the health benefits of reading.

This year the Spanish Society of Neurology (SEN) has placed great emphasis on the importance of encouraging the habit of reading among the population as one of the most beneficial activities for the brain, thus keeping it active.

As Dr. García Ribas, Coordinator of the SEN Behavior and Dementias Study Group, recently explained: “Reading is a beneficial activity for health, as it stimulates brain activity and strengthens neuronal connections”.

An active brain not only performs its functions better, but also increases its speed of response to the environment.

By reading, the brain is forced to think, order ideas, interrelate concepts, exercise memory and imagine, allowing to improve intellectual capacity by stimulating neurons.

Likewise, reading generates topics of conversation, facilitating social interaction, another important aspect to keep the brain active.

Since reading stimulates neuronal activity and strengthens neuronal connections, recent studies show that reading increases the cognitive reserve of the brain, protecting it against neurodegenerative diseases.

Although reading is good at any age, children and the elderly are two population groups where more emphasis should be placed on promoting reading. In children, because it is the best time to instill this habit in them and, in addition, their brain and its functions are developing. In older people, so that they can continue to keep their brains active despite their reduced activity. Daily reading is one more stimulus for their brain.

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Therefore, we should not only encourage reading but also promote reading among children and the elderly so that not only the brains benefit but also the chain to promote reading continues.

Setting aside some time each day to read helps to reduce daily stress and strengthens not only the intellect but also health.