We all know that reading is a fundamental element of a person’s educational growth. There is an excess of benefits associated with reading a little bit every day, including stress reduction, relaxation, and even the prevention of diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia. But let’s be honest, how many of us actually take the time to read every day? And if not, what are some activities we can do in place of reading that provide the same (if not more) benefits as reading does? These questions have led me to examine the benefits associated with every day, non-reading activities. Explore below-
- Watching TV- Contrary to popular belief, watching TV DOES actually provide some educational benefits while simultaneously providing entertainment. The increase of technology has catapulted more educational television programs and channels into the standard household. Channels such as The Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and The History Channel provide exposure to different cultures, languages, environments, and more.
- Exercising – We all know that exercising is one of the main methods to improve your health. But did you know that exercise can actually lead to improved academic performance? Research suggests that individuals who exercise may have increased ability to focus your attention, are quicker to perform simple tasks, and have better working memories and problem-solving skills. If the gym isn’t your thing, try going on a walk, taking a swim, shopping (I swear it’s exercise!), gardening, or re-organizing your house! The opportunities are endless!
- Cooking- Surprisingly, there are a plethora of benefits associated with cooking (especially with kids). For kids, cooking can help build basic skills, enhance confidence, and communicate effectively. Cooking can also ignite your imagination, enhance your creativity, and expand your awareness of other cultures. Spend a Saturday making a new recipe, and let us know how it goes!
- Socializing- Reading a book can be relaxing and enlightening, but occasionally, reading can inhibit the benefits of experiencing life outside of a book. Cultivating relationships is directly associated with stress reduction. Having good relationships also decreases the tendency to engage in unhealthy habits, such as drinking or smoking. Some fun ways to enhance relationships would be to write a snail mail letter, go out with friends to a movie or dinner, start a new hobby with friends (cross stitch, sewing, crafting, fantasy sports league, etc.), host a poker night, or plan a picnic in a nearby park. The options are endless!
If you enjoy taking time to read a book, that’s wonderful! If not, there’s no need to feel discouraged, there are plenty of ways to receive the same benefits. Have an idea of what you could do instead of reading? Comment below and let us know!