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Reading, A Healthy Lifestyle Choice

Reading is one of my favorite pastimes. A healthy lifestyle choice that anyone can make. I’ve been an avid reader since I was in second grade. It is a passion I have never grown out of and one I can carry with me as I age. Reading is relaxing, enjoyable, entertaining, inspiring, enlightening and keeps you knowledgeable about many subjects. In a literate society like we have, the ability to read is vital in order to function effectively on a daily basis. Reading is important and involves every aspect of our lives from road signs, tax forms, menus, newspapers, the list goes on and on. Reading is inescapable in our lives. As functional as reading is, it is also one of the most pleasurable and enjoyable pastimes you can do on your own. It is unfathomable to me that people actually “hate” to read. That attitude in itself, is to me an unhealthy one.

I literally get lost in a good book. I don’t even hear others when they speak to me when I am reading. There have been weeks when I have devoured 10-12 books. That is what I call healthy food for the mind. I can read for hours on end. It is especially wonderful when it is cold or rainy and the fireplace is going and I am curled up close by with a book. When I am anxious, stressed or tired, reading a good book helps me to relax, forget my problems and become involved with the book itself. I can empathize with the characters and their situations and incorporate these new ideas and feelings into my own life experiences. Reading becomes a healthy coping option that I choose frequently to reduce stress and provide me with a wonderful sense of well being.

I read recently in the Prevention Magazine that the average number of books read last year was FOUR! Yikes, that is not a healthy number by any means. Prevention Magazine states that “cozying up with a good book shields your brain from decline. Researchers theorize that you can read books for a healthy brain, as bookworms develop a brainpower reservoir that’s tapped when disease or aging threatens their gray matter.” That statement alone only encourages me to be a bookworm forever. Reading is a healthy lifestyle choice. It is healthy for the mind, it reduces stress, relaxes the body and stimulates creativity and the imagination. You can travel to exotic places, take off on a vicarious adventure, visit places from the past, future, or here and now, read about interesting people and characters or obtain information about a hobby or topic you enjoy. Reading helps you to communicate and share your knowledge with others. It allows us to improve and grow as individuals and enhances our chances in life.

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Best of all reading is ageless. It keeps our minds agile. Anyone can take up the habit. You just need a good book, no other tools or equipment are needed. You can do it anywhere, indoors or out, while you are waiting in line, at the beach, by the pool, on the porch, in bed, or in your own special chair or spot. You can read anytime, at night, during the day or in the morning, Reading is FREE. All you need is a library card and you are all set. The internet is also a good place to read.

Reading is beneficial in many ways and can and should be one of your choices for a healthy lifestyle. There are millions and millions of books , magazines and newspapers out there to read. Your passions, interests and needs will be the factors that motivate you and help you choose the types of books or materials to read. I myself enjoy biographies, auto biographies, serial killer mysteries, mystery stories, love stories, self help books, recipe books, and health and fitness magazines. The choices are endless, any subject you choose is there for the taking from science, art, politics, theater, education, religion, love and family to all other sorts of fiction and non-fiction.

Make reading one of your choices for a joyful pastime. Read for pleasure, read for knowledge, read for work, for health or leisure. Just remember to READ and READ and READ! Make it your healthy lifestyle choice.

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