Use it or lose it: How to keep mind in shape

Fill in the blank to solve the following correlation:

“(Blank) is to the mind what exercise is to the body.”

The principle of “use it or lose it” applies to (blank). It is something most every person can do, each to his or her own level.

It costs nothing to do. Like riding a bicycle, (blank) cannot be unlearned, but if (blank) is not done on a regular basis, a person’s ability to think, communicate, reason or act diminishes.

Regular (blank) provides many benefits, including mental and emotional stimulation; developing empathy and reducing stress through escaping to visit other lives, worlds and universes; cultivating the imagination instinct inherent in all human beings; providing learning and knowledge; enhancing memory, vocabulary and verbal communication skills; strengthening analytical thinking, focus and concentration skills; improving writing ability; promoting relaxation and tranquility; and providing free, unlimited entertainment.

(Blank) provides all that and more. There is nowhere you cannot go by (blank), and it’s all your choice as to what interests, topics and subjects you want to explore by (blank).

If you need any more hints on what (blank) is, well, you’re doing it right this instant, albeit on a superficial level. You are reading.

Though reading news media content is good exercise for the mind, the best page-turning Pilates is reading a book, whether it’s a novel or nonfiction, literature, poetry, biographies, religious texts, young adult books or any other of the countless forms and genres that books offer.

Wednesday is Read a Book Day, which is a perfect day to begin a regular exercise regimen to get your mind back into shape.

Keeping the brain in shape is why schools assign summer reading and public libraries offer summer reading programs focused for students on summer vacation.

Commit yourself to reading a little bit every day from an actual print or e-book. After a few weeks regular mind exercise like that, we guarantee you will notice a difference.