It’s the 13th week of Cassie’s Challenges and this week’s challenge is to read a book for 20 minutes every day! You remember books, right?
Looks like I accidentally picked a perfect week for the make a meal for a friend or family member challenge given that it’s almost 4th of July in America! I hope you all enjoyed cooking for others and I’m sure they would have enjoyed the spoils! I kicked off the week by cooking a few meals for my mum to take with her on a camping trip. I made my beef and vegetable stew and a batch of curried sausages and from what I’ve heard they went down a treat! I also made a batch of special energy bites for my sister in law who is visiting us with my baby niece Audrey! I believe that makes last week’s challenge well and truly a success!
Now this week’s challenge is all for the mind!
Read a book for 20 minutes every day
Regular reading can help protect your brain for Alzheimer’s disease, decrease stress levels, stimulate positive thinking and strengthen friendships. But in this digital day and age, our screens are winning more and more when it comes to monopolising our attention.
Studies in Australia have shown that the average person watches 3 hours of television a day! For Americans, the average increases to 5 hours a day! Other studies have shown the average person spends nearly two hours on social media a day! It seems that in a lifetime we will now spend more time watching TV and being on social media then actually socialising!
And when it comes to reading, the average American spends only 19 minutes a day. Americans between the ages of 25 to 34 read for just eight minutes a day. Teenagers are reading even less so, clocking in an average of four minutes a day on their days off. In fact, the only reason the American average is as high as it is is because it is bumped up by those aged over 75 who spend more than an hour reading a day!
Reading a book has well and truly declined as a preferred leisure activity in many our lives, but this isn’t necessarily a good thing. I’ve spoken before about the negative effects prolonged use of social media can have on our lives and how switching off can help our mental health. As for television, I’m as partial to a Netflix binge session as the next person. But I find there is something more rewarding and relaxing in reading a book.
So, this week’s challenge is to pick a great book and spend 20 minutes reading it every day. Why 20 minutes? Well for one thing we want to be greater than the average! But I also want to be realistic. I understand everyone is busy and has a million things happening at once. But we should all be able to easily fit in 20 minutes of reading a day. And to help us out, I’ve compiled a quick list of suggestions on how you can fit more reading into your day!
8 ways to fit in more reading:
1. Read on the commute to work
2. Read whilst walking on the treadmill
3. Read before bed
4. Read to your children every night
5. Read a book in the bath
6. Read for 20 minutes before turning on the TV of a night
7. Read on the toilet (what we used to do before smartphones!)
8. Read first thing in the morning (create a morning routine)
As always, I’ll be tracking my progress on Instagram and I’d love to see how you are fitting in your 20 minutes a day so upload a photo with the hashtag #beforeverhealthier so I can see!
And if you’d like to see some of the previous challenges, I’ve listed them below for quick reference! Don’t forget that you can participate in a challenge at any time! So if you’ve missed any previous challenges, feel free to jump on board whenever you get the chance!