Dementia: Dr Sara on benefits of being in nature
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Between social media and online articles, it might have been some time since you’ve picked up a book. However, if you are proud to call yourself a bookworm, you might be onto something as research suggests that reading could stave off dementia.
Just an hour before the doctor called it a day, he decided to reach for a book.
Speaking on his podcast Just One Thing, he said: “Taking time out of your day to read a novel can have impressive benefits, improving brain connectivity, creating new neural pathways and even protecting against dementia.”
If you already enjoying getting lost in the pages of good fiction, great.
However, if reading isn’t your thing, research might convince you to give it a go.
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Dr Mosley said: “Best of all, it may protect against cognitive decline as we get older.
“Studies from China, Taiwan and the US have all found that reading every day may be protective against dementia.
“And if all that’s not enough to convince you to pick up a novel, get this, reading not only helped keep you mentally fit as you age, it could even be the key to a longer life.”
In fact, reading has been linked to a whole variety of benefits, ranging from mental health to empathy.
When it comes to your brain, novels seem to be the best choice of reading.
“That’s because reading something which has characters in the story seems to deliver a remarkable number of benefits to your brain,” added Dr Mosley.
Plus, reading can also increase blood flow into the entire organ.
The podcaster said: “Reading can also increase the connectivity in your brain and create new neural pathways.”
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A guest on the podcast, Dr Raymond Mar, who is a professor of Psychology at York University, explained how to reap the benefits.
To do it by the book, Dr Mar shared you should turn reading into a regular habit.
Even reading “small bite sized chunks” on a daily basis can do the trick.
The crucial thing is to enjoy it and relax so all genres are a good choice.
Dr Mar said: “This is leisure reading. You’re doing this to relax.
“You don’t want to feel like you’re forcing yourself to do something like some sort of arduous homework.”
If reading is not something you’re doing already, Dr Mosley encouraged to include reading in the next chapter of your life.
“Your brain, your empathy, and even your mental health could benefit,” Dr Mosley concluded.
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