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The Surprising Health Trick of Bookworms: Weekly Lifestyle Practice

Reading Time: 2 minutes
The next Whole Life Challenge starts in:

Spend 10 Minutes Each Day Reading Something Meaningful

Simple Instructions:

  1. You may read from any source you like, but it must be something you consider meaningful.
  2. You must do all ten minutes straight through without stopping. Read for ten continuous minutes.
  3. Your reading can be uplifting, inspiring, motivating, educational, or relaxing. If sitting down and reading a catalog for ten minutes helps you unwind at the end of the day, you could even count that.

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Why Is This Practice Important?

Between work, home, kids, and other personal responsibilities, who has the time to plop down and read a book? And why bother? We have TV, radio, and the Internet to tell us everything we need to know about the world, right?

Did you ever stop to wonder if there is actually a good scientific reason to read? Something interesting about reading is that it provides measurable brain development benefits. Reading stimulates several areas of the brain at once:

  • Your frontal lobe, responsible for reasoning, planning, parts of speech, movement, emotion, and problem solving.
  • Your parietal lobe, which manages movement.
  • Your occipital lobe, which handles visual processing.
  • Your temporal lobe, which takes care of perception and recognition, as well as auditory stimuli and speech.

Reading may also have a positive impact on your health. According to this article from The New York Times, people who are good readers have been found to have better health. This may, according to a new study, be because people who read have a greater level of “cognitive reserve.” Meaning, people who read fared better than those who didn’t because they had built up more brain power, so they had more to lose.

So, given all this, your challenge for the next week is to read. Read something that reboots your body, mind, or spirit. Something that sets you up for the day or helps you unwind at the end of it. It’s up to you to say what is “meaningful.”

Set your intention for the week. What would you like to get out of this lifestyle practice? You could choose to read a particular book. You might decide you are going to read three or four inspiring blogs every day. You can learn something this week that you’ve been wanting to learn for a long time. Creating an intention and fulfilling it through this practice will make a bigger difference than just making sure you read the paper on the bus on the way home.

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Michael Stanwyck
Michael Stanwyck is the co-founder of The Whole Life Challenge, an idea that developed during his seven years as a coach and gym manager at CrossFit Los Angeles.

He graduated from UCLA with a BA in philosophy as well as a degree from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, and feels food is one of the most important parts of a life - it can nourish, heal, and bring people together.

Michael believes health and well-being are as much a state of mind as they are a state of the body, and when it comes to fitness, food, and life in general, he thinks slow is much better than fast (most of the time). Stopping regularly to examine things is the surest way to put down roots and grow.

He knows he will never be done with his own work, and believes the best thing you can do for your well-being starts with loving and working from what you’ve got right now.