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The Pastime That Boosts Your Brainpower

Date:04-07-2013 07:50:03 read:3
Category:Man-->Diseases

Bookworms have bigger brains.

Crack open that beach book. Reading now strengthens your memory later in life, says a new study from Rush University.

Researchers examined the brains of recently deceased senior citizens and found that the people who did mentally stimulating activities (like reading books and writing) throughout their lifetime had a 32 percent slower rate of memory decline than seniors who didn’t.

Cognitive health later in life doesn’t just depend on your genes, but how strong your brain is when you reach that point—and whether or not you continue to strengthen it, says study author Robert Wilson, Ph.D. Your mind needs to constantly be challenged in order for it to stay sharp, he says. That means one book per summer won’t cut it.

Set aside 30 minutes a day to read a few chapters of the novel you’re currently on, or thumb through a couple articles in your favorite mag. A study from the Mayo Clinic found that people who frequently read magazines in middle age were about 40 percent less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment than those who didn’t.

Or simply fire up your iPad and open up LongReads, a free site that features daily links to the most interesting stories, interviews, and historical documents (all usually over 1,500 words) on the Internet.

If you liked this story, you’ll love these:

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  • 11 Reads for a Stress-Free Summer Vacation
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    Ever For Health Copy Rights 2013