4 Ways Reading Makes You Healthier

Curling up in a comfortable chair with a good book is always a pleasure, but did you know that it can also make you healthier? It doesn't matter whether you're reading a mystery, thriller, romance, chick-lit, classic or non-fiction. Put your nose in a book or an e-reader for just 15 minutes a day, and you'll reap big benefits so you can live better. Here are four reasons reading makes you healthier, according to Virgin Pulse:

1. Build a better brain
When you read a book it boosts your cognitive function. And that means your verbal intelligence, reasoning ability and problem-solving skills improve significantly. Bonus: Best of all, it's cumulative. Read when you're young and it will keep your mind sharp as you age.

2. Build better relationships
When you read literary fiction, it actually helps you improve your understanding of other people's thoughts and feelings. This is called empathy. Empathizing with others strengthens your personal relationships. Bonus: Join or start a book club to strengthen old relationships and build new ones.

3. Experience less stress
The escape reading provides is an excellent way to settle your mind and forget your problems for a while. Bonus: Read before bed, and it can help you sleep better.

4. Gain better focus
You probably spend a good part of your day multitasking, which actually has the contrary effect of making you less productive. But staying focused on a book while reading for 15 minutes a day helps rebuild your ability to pay attention and focus. Bonus: Reading will make you calmer.