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Why Reading is a Great Brain Workout

We LOVE reading at Noggin HQ. With so much choice and (ahem) time on our hands at the moment there has never been a better time to get stuck in to reading. Whether you are a speed reader or can only manage a couple pf pages a day reading is a great brain healthy habit for all ages.

Reading can help us with feelings of stress and anxiety, it can be a mindful activity that takes you away from whatever is going on your head to what is on the page. It is so easy to pick up our phones or turn on the TV, but if we can look to pick up a book instead our brains will benefit.

What should you read for the best benefit for your brain? Whatever you are interested in!

Here are some other reasons why certain types of books can help your brain. 


Well this is an obvious choice if you want to learn something new- but what is so exciting is that so many science writers and journalists are publishing books on topics that affect us every day as well as the bigger more theoretical questions 

Cookery Books

Who doesn’t love buying a new cook book and looking through it, only to place in on a shelf and revert back to our usual recipes? If you can choose something different to make, something beyond what you think would be normal for you, your brain will relish the challenge of planning, imagining, preparing and all the different stages in creating your Masterchef masterpiece. If it finishes up how you imagined that’s great- and delicious- but the good news is that whatever the end result, your brain will have a had a work out in the process 


Flicking through books full of pictures can help our imagination and encourage us to see patterns and trends in other things we see. Ultimately you are teaching your brain to look at something differently, and we can always all learn something from that 


Poems are a real challenge for our brains. Many of us may not have looked at poetry since school days or maybe helping with homework but there has never been a better time to look up a poem, even just one a week. Rhythm, rhyme, the choice of words used and how they can be interpreted- it’s like a HIIT work out for your noggin. 


My personal favourite. With the explosion of memoir in the last few years, we now have a huge choice of stories from real life that can help us learn, reflect and ponder our own experiences. There can be glamour, grit and tragedy in everyones stories – whether you are a celebrity or not. 


Imagination. Escapism. Remembering characters and plot lines. Laughter. Tears. Patterns of behaviours between characters. All of the above are enjoyable and brain benefiting aspects to a good old story book. 

Let us know some of your favourites!

Happy Reading

Dr Clara Russell