Saturday, February 18, 2017

Why reading is basically the same as cardio

Running, I hate it. I used to get a little bit of pleasure (a little) from running long distances, years ago before I hurt my knee somehow. Now I can't really do much running without that throbbing pain coming back to haunt me. Shockingly, I wasn't all that devastated that I couldn't run anymore! These days I suffer through the elliptical or walking on an incline when I absolutely must go to the gym, but the truth is I do not enjoy it at all. You know what I do love to do though? Read. I LOVE to read! So imagine how excited I was when I was told that I'm basically getting just as good of a workout by reading all the time!

Recently I met a local medical student who is currently undecided between neurology and cardiology, but has done study in both areas. We engaged in discussion about the effect reading has on health and I came away with a conclusion which he wholeheartedly supported: there's really no need to even work out if you're reading constantly. They're both working out, right? And do you REALLY want to be outside pounding pavement when you could be snuggled up in your reading nook exercising your brain?

Now listen, I know you're probably thinking I've gone off the deep end right about now, but I have sources to back this up! Reading has also been found to strengthen "muscles" (in your brain but still). More importantly, reading helps to reduce stress levels by up to two thirds, helping you to stay mentally healthy! And did you know that people who read have an average 23 month survival advantage over people who don't? So not only does reading actually work out your brain "muscles" but it is also proven to make you live longer! Why go to the gym at all?

Okay, so maybe reading isn't exactly the same as running or lifting weights, but mental health is just as important, right? All I'm saying, is maybe I'm not going to feel quite as bad about not making it to the gym considering I'll be living 23 months longer than my non-reading counterparts anyway.

*Disclaimer: please don't take medical advice from me, I'm just lazy.*