21 Jul

Why Reading is the cardio exercise

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the average human’s attention span has dwindled from 12 seconds to eight seconds since 2000. With the birth of social media egging this phenomenon on, now people would much rather absorb information via snappy videos than good old text.

But there’s a certain magic in words that simply cannot be translated through mere visuals.

A good story draws you in with evocative descriptions, and grants you access to the most unadulterated thoughts of a character, while a gripping news article offers you a fresh viewpoint, and challenges your mind to ruminate on deep-seated beliefs and opinions.

If the above impassioned (and rather long) line failed to win you over, perhaps the following four undeniable advantages will.

1.You get to travel the world (without the hefty price tag)


Gif source: http://bit.ly/2tjy8gB

And without the bothersome luggage.

Quite possibly the most economical way to travel, reading takes you to places that even the best tours aren’t able to – the far corners of your mind.

From real-life regions to fictional realms, you get to hop on board a journey so stirring and powerful, sometimes you might even forget that your physical self isn’t actually battling a dragon in the medieval kingdom of Delain.

A $15 book (or FOC if you’re borrowing) that comes with a priceless experience? Yes please.


2. Readers enjoy a longer lifespan

Book readers, to be exact.

Just 30 minutes a day of gluing your nose to a novel can extend life expectancy by two whole years.


Img source: http://bit.ly/2sgfoz8

“Hooray! I made it to the 2017 Presidential Election.”

According to the researchers, absorbing yourself in a captivating and intricate plot sets the cognitive functions into a gradual, deep reading mode. Almost like a workout for the brain, this process is essential in prolonging your years as it exercises those screws and hinges that might otherwise rust if left untouched.

In fact, the results were so astounding that even the experts who ran the tests were baffled by how much difference reading makes. And they were from Yale.


3. It encourages thinking from every angle


“Oh dear, did that wretched cat throw a bamboo? Or was it the round one that resembles my favourite treat?”

Just like how you would anticipate an opponent’s move in a game of Mahjong, reading demands the mind to focus on the content at hand, draw connections to the surrounding world, and develop a perspective thereon. Or in Mahjong’s case, a strategy.

It is a powerful way to expand your outlook as it allows you to delve into the thoughts of different people, which in turn, can bring you very far in life.

Besides gaining mind-reading skills (not really, maybe), having a broad perspective strengthens understanding and tolerance towards people from various cultures and generations.

And in a country like Singapore, it certainly is an attitude worth having.


4. It cultivates compassion


Gif source: http://gph.is/Yo8Ryn

“Just why is Robin so upset that I always get the credit and not him?”

Feel your emotions like never before. Poring over a vivid narrative helps readers be more in touch with their personal feelings, and the feelings of others.

By immersing yourself in the mental lair of a three-dimensional protagonist, it opens up a degree of emotional awareness that can be applied to real-life situations.

So if you’re constantly in bewilderment over your girlfriend’s displeasure, perhaps it is time you pick up a novel.

We now leave you with this awesome quote by an equally awesome writer:

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.”

– George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons.