When You Read Every Day, This Is What Happens To Your Body

Who would have thought that a hefty helping of daily reading could do more for your physical and mental health than just expand your vocabulary? There are a multitude of reasons you may already be reading as part of your regular routine. You may find it informational, a desired escape from day-to-day stress, or maybe it's a necessary part of your job. If you're already a fan of the written word, then reading every day may have already become so habitual that you may not have noticed the additional positive effects it has on your health. 

Various studies over the years have confirmed this. According to a 2009 study reported via Reader's Digest, reading for just 30 minutes a day is the relaxation equivalent of doing 30 minutes of daily yoga. Even skimming the pages for as little as six minutes has proven to lower stress levels by nearly 70%. "It really doesn't matter what book you read," the study's author said. "By losing yourself in a thoroughly engrossing book you can escape from the worries and stresses of the everyday world."

In addition to relieving stress, burning through a chapter a day can help increase the amount of empathy we have for others.

Reading can improve your relationships

Experts at Healthline state that people who read stories that delve deep into the lives of their characters, have shown increased levels of compassion and understanding towards others. Simply finishing one book may not have you feeling any significant improvement, but with time, long-term fiction readers are likely to gain more empathy. In addition to increased empathy, reading is also known to prepare your body and mind for a good night's rest, help reduce symptoms of stress, and slow down age-related cognitive decline.

The personal health benefits of reading are endless, but as an additional bonus, your bookworm tendencies can positively affect your loved ones too — particularly children. According to research conducted in 2019, parents who read to their children from printed books experience a closer bond to one another (via Reader's Digest). The results of the study showed that reading from printed books in particular, rather than through electronic means, promotes more meaningful parent-child interactions through verbal communication as well as through body language.

It may be hard to opt for a book over binge-watching if television has become your go-to method of relaxation, but we're big fans of the written word. It may be worth trying a little light reading before bedtime this evening, as there are many positive effects it has on both our health and our relationships with others.