It makes sense that people who exercise their bodies regularly do better in life because they have fewer health problems, are more confident, and are physically able to do the things they want and need to do. It's the same thing when it comes to working out your brain. Researchers have determined the practice of reading--a cognitive exercise--lowers stress and depression, raises your intelligence, protects your memory, and helps you to be more open-minded. Here are other ways it's good for you, as well.

1. Reading fiction changes you.

British creatives Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell recently posted a visual essay in The Guardian in which they advocate the value of libraries, librarians, and the practice of reading fiction. "Fiction builds empathy," it reads. "Fiction is something you build up from 26 letters and a handful of punctuation marks, and you, and you alone, using your imagination, create a world, and people it and look out through other eyes. You're being someone else, and when you return to your own world, you're going to be slightly changed."

2. Reading helps you succeed in business.

If you want to dominate whatever industry you operate in, it helps to learn as much as you can about it. Reading voraciously on topics that relate to your customers, competitors, and anything else surrounding your business is an obvious way to position yourself for success. Elon Musk, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Oprah Winfrey are all voracious readers. And note these words attributed to Mark Cuban: "Everything I read was public. Anyone could buy the same books and magazines. The same information was available to anyone who wanted it. Turns out, most people didn't want it."

3. Reading can turn you into an expert.

That's according to Dr. Alan Zimmerman, a full-time professional speaker who specializes in attitude, motivation, and leadership programs, whose advice on reading was published in the CompTIA blog. "Decide on one area in which you'd like to know more about or get better at," he writes. "Read an hour a day on that topic, and in three months you'll be an expert."

Published on: Sep 18, 2018