Prepping Your Body and Mind for Reading

Prepping Your Body and Mind for Reading

Prepping Your Body and Mind for Reading

We prepare for most things in life in some form. Athletes and players stretch out and warm up before the event. Drivers run the car for a few minutes, especially on a cold day. Farmers prepare the field before sowing. But students hardly ever think of preparing or warming up before reading.

You are expected to go from literature class to Maths class to Geography class without doing anything to help you switch gears from one subject to another.

You will find that you are a much more effective reader when you take the time to prepare before starting to read. Students who prepare to read remember more of what they have read and are able to concentrate better and make stronger connections between ideas.

  • Do some pre-reading exercise. It has been shown that 30-40 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity can greatly improve cognitive clarity. Before picking up a book to read, try going for a run, brisk walk, or bike ride to clear your mind and improve concentration. Consider bringing a book along with you for these types of workouts so that you can read whenever you need a rest.
  • Have a healthy snack. Healthy foods can raise energy levels, and thus improve your ability to concentrate throughout the day. Snacks should contain fibre-rich carbohydrates or Omega-3 fats, which can also support memory and concentration. Try stocking up on some of these snacks for your reading time:
    • Nuts
    • Fruit
    • Oatmeal
    • Pumpkin seeds
    • Peanut butter
    • Anything with whole grains

Get more sleep. Studies have shown that getting a sufficient amount of sleep is key for good concentration and memory. Sleepiness can slow down thought processes, increase irritability, and disrupt learning, thereby interfering with your ability to focus on a book. Try to get between 7-9 hours of sleep a night, as is recommended for most adults.


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