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The Reading and Fitness Connection: How Establishing a Routine in Both Can Transform Your Life

Updated: Apr 17, 2023



Need a break from screens? One simple yet impactful resolution you can make for the new year is establishing a regular reading routine, particularly with physical books. Not only do physical books provide a more immersive and different reading experience, but they also offer the added bonus of forcing you to unplug to focus on just one thing. Reading a physical book allows you to step away from the constant notifications and distractions of screens and fully engage in the world of the book.


Research has shown that reading physical books has numerous cognitive benefits that can improve our mental and emotional well-being. It can increase empathy, mental flexibility, rationality, creativity, and brain function. Reading physical books can also improve our understanding and comprehension of material and may even reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, increasing our longevity. Plus, it can be a great stress-buster and aid in relaxation, especially before bed.


The new year is the perfect time to establish a regular reading routine, and there are numerous benefits to reading physical books. Not only do they provide a more immersive and different reading experience, but they also allow you to unplug and focus on just one thing. Reading physical books allows you to step away from the constant notifications and distractions of screens and fully engage in the story.


But it's not just about the experience – research has shown that reading books has numerous cognitive benefits that can improve our mental and emotional well-being. It can increase empathy, mental flexibility, rationality, creativity, and brain function. Reading can also improve our understanding and comprehension of material and may even reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, increasing our longevity. Plus, it can be a great stress-buster and aid in relaxation, especially before bed.


As a fitness professional, I know that the key to establishing a new habit is to plan, start small, and let momentum take over. Instead of focusing on the end goal of reading a certain number of books by the end of the year, I'm going to focus on enjoying the experience.


Here's my plan to establish a new reading routine of physical books:


Start small: I'm going to aim for one book per month. This might not seem like much, but reading something unrelated to health, fitness, or personal development is a big deal for me.


Set aside dedicated reading time: I'm going to set aside a specific time each day or week to read, likely before bed, as part of my wind-down routine.


Mix things up: I have a short stack of 5 books to start with and a shelf of others to dive into later in the year. To keep things interesting, I'm going to mix things up and read a combination of nonfiction and fiction. The most important thing is to choose books that interest me and challenge me.


Ironically those 3 things I listed can apply to people wanting to develop a new fitness habit!


When it comes to fitness, setting unrealistic goals or trying to do too much too soon can lead to burnout or injury. By starting small and gradually increasing your activity level, you're more likely to stick with your new fitness routine and make it a sustainable part of your lifestyle.


Setting aside time to work out is another key to establishing a new fitness habit. By carving out a specific time in your schedule to prioritize your fitness, you're more likely to stick with it, whether first thing in the morning, during your lunch break, or after work. Choosing a consistent workout time can help you make it a regular part of your routine.


Choosing something interesting and challenging is also important when it comes to establishing new fitness habits. If you enjoy the activity you're doing; you're more likely to stick with it. And by choosing activities that challenge you, you'll see progress and improvement over time, which can be motivating and rewarding.


In conclusion, establishing a regular reading routine with physical books is a simple yet impactful resolution to make for the new year. It allows you to unplug from screens, fully engage in the world of the book, and experience numerous cognitive benefits that can improve your mental and emotional well-being. To make this new habit sustainable, it's important to start small, set aside dedicated reading time, and mix things up by choosing books that interest and challenge you.


These same principles can also be applied to developing new fitness habits. By starting small, setting aside dedicated time, and choosing activities that interest and challenge you, you can establish a sustainable and enjoyable fitness routine.

 

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