Does Reading Help Improve Memory & Concentration?
Memory and concentration spans are the first to shrink when you go up the age gradient. Not only does it make it difficult to deal with daily chores but can also impair your comprehension skills in the long run. A major reason is that post-retirement, people transition from a hectic work routine to one of doing nothing. Leaving your brain idle for long hours and letting it extend to a span of days, months and even years makes your mental faculties inactive and ineffective.
Letting your brain rust without any use can be highly debilitating in the long run and this is why it’s important to engage in intellectually-stimulating activities. It helps you pass time productively, learn something in your free hours and also put your cognitive capacity to good use. Reading is one such activity which primarily targets intellectual stimulation in your brain, thereby improving memory and concentration. If you’re wondering how a bunch of books can help enhance a weak memory, read on.
Alzheimer’s and the onset of dementia are fairly common occurrences during old age. Not only can these diseases degenerate the pace of brain functioning but also dampen memory. Mental stimulation allows you to ward off such risks and stay physically and mentally healthy. Dry spells of mental inactivity tend to affect neural pathways which begin to lose connections. In order to maintain synaptic pruning, you need to keep challenging your brain with reading and engaging in intellectual discussions.
Have you ever been so absorbed in a book and its fictional world that you forgot all about pending bills, rent, and expenses? That’s exactly how reading helps eliminate stress from your routine. Your mind needs a distraction as a breather which allows it to take a break from routine activities. Even though our senior loved ones have routines and activities drastically different from younger members of the community, they still need a good read to cut down on their stress. With fewer stressors, you’d also be better able to concentrate on the hardcover in your hand.
Contrary to a popular erroneous belief, reading is not a passive act. While you move from line to line, your brain is engaging in a strenuous exercise of comprehending words, understanding language and associating ideas. As you age, your thinking capabilities and memory go downhill but according to a study, reading can help prevent or slow this process. Aging is a tough process because of mental deterioration but research has shown that reading can slow its rate and enhance life expectancy.
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