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Why Reading is so Good for Old Age

To keep the mind fresh and active into old age you must use it or loose as they say. Getting stuck into a thickset novel, or even just reading a few short stories, a bit of poetry or the daily newspaper – it’s all a great way to strengthen the brain against disease and memory loss. 

Not all of us are natural readers. But the spare time retirement grants us could be the perfect excuse to try and enjoy reading rather than sitting in front of the box. Once you give it a chance it is extremely rewarding. Getting lost in a character’s journey, learning more about history or gaining a different perspective on life, these are all treasures that books can bestow upon us.


The brain is an organ just like every other organ in the human body. It ages in relation to how it has been treated and used. Physical activity strengthens the heart, muscles and bones, in the same way that intellectual activity stimulates the brain to fight against disease and memory loss. Adults who engage in activities such as reading, writing, or learning a new language are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s into old age. Now that is the perfect reason to start reading!


It’s also a well known fact that establishing a regular relaxing habit before bed, such as reading, can calm your mind into an effortless and soothing sleep. You might even dream about the book you’re reading and be transported away into another world. While older folks don’t necessarily need more sleep than younger adults, anyone can benefit from better sleep. Quality over quantity is the rationale here.


Rather than picking out a random book out at Whitcoulls, why not start with some of the classic authors: Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, Stephen King, Charles Dickens – just to name a few. Let them transport you into another world while your mind gets that crucial stimulation to stay active and healthy.