Reading is beneficial for both children and adults. It can help you to cope with stress and
anxiety, and provide a form of relaxation and escapism.
It is also a great '
brain tool', helping people of all ages to learn and develop important life skills, in terms of education, self improvement, positive life choices and all round well-being.
Children and adults can read to develop their language, vocabulary, and all round comprehension skills. Spelling and writing skills are also improved by regular reading.
If you have sight or reading difficulties such as visual impairment or dyslexia you can still enjoy the wonderful world of story telling and literature. If your child is unable to read themselves, you can read to them. If you have difficulties, ask others to read to you. Many books are available as audio CDs. And, you will be able to buy Braille versions of some books. Ask at your local bookshop for advice and information.
Never stop learning
As well as academic learning, reading also offers a wide range of other life skills. Books can help children learn more about the world around them. They can read and learn about morals, friendship, love and family.
If your child is going through a difficult time in their life, such as the separation of parents, starting a new school, the death of a loved one, bullying, or puberty, books can be a great source of information and comfort. There may be books that your child can read at these times to help them understand what they are going through. This may help to relieve any
anxiety and stress your child may feel.
Reading can give your child the tools to make good choices in life, whether it be about positive relationships, education, health and lifestyle.
Children can learn about their bodies, healthy lifestyles, diet and exercise through reading books and magazines.
Reading is a more interactive activity than watching television. When children read they are involved with the book, imagining the characters and scenes, and painting images in their minds, rather than just staring blankly at a television screen. This encourages your child to be creative and think for themselves.
Reading is a great activity that you and your child can enjoy together. You could read to your child, or they could read to you while you enjoy the stories together. This is a fantastic way to spend quality time with your child, and can be a very bonding experience. Many people recall fond childhood memories of a parent reading to them at bedtime. Why not do the same for your child?
Reading with your child is also a great conversation starter. You can talk to your child about the ideas and messages conveyed in a story, and ask them what they feel about them. This will encourage your child to analyze what they have read and learned about, and form opinions which they can then confidently share with you, and others.
All about you
Reading is great for adults too! Settling down with a good book or a favorite magazine is a great way to ungas at the end of a stressful day, and enjoy some 'you' time. It can take your mind of your worries and woes, and often a bit of time out helps you to put things in perspective and cope better.
But don't think that the benefits of reading for adults are limited to relaxation!
Adults can also develop their vocabulary and improve their spelling, literacy and comprehension skills in the same way that children do. Life is a learning curve - it's never too late to learn.
There is a huge choice of books available to you. Novels, fiction, non-fiction, biographies - the list is endless, you are bound to find something you enjoy.
Self-help, self-improvement, health, motivational and educational books will give you a greater awareness and general knowledge.
Reading is a great way to expand your own horizons; you can learn about pretty much anything you choose!
Now that you're bolstering your brainpower and working on your wellbeing, you may as well fit in time for the physical as well!
If you do like to read, make sure you also take the time to do some exercise. You need at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day. You could go for a walk, a jog, go to the gym or go swimming. Stay active to keep fit and healthy. If you are at a good part in your book - when you can't put it down! - you could take a walk to a local park or café and read the book there.
Also make sure that you eat healthily. Don't gorge on unhealthy junk food, particularly if you do like to read and spend a lot of time sitting still. Try to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. Munching on fruits, nuts and seeds will keep your body fit and healthy.