We’ve all probably heard the phrase, “It’s never too late to start something new.” And while maybe a little cliche, this saying does hold significant truth. At nearly 40 years old, Julia Child learned to cook, while Mark Twain didn’t write his famous novel, Huckleberry Finn, until he was 57 years old!
Starting a new hobby isn’t only exciting, but it also promotes a general sense of well-being and adds to a healthy lifestyle. We’ve picked out four hobbies with proven mental and physical health benefits that we think you should try.
There have been a wide variety of experiments and articles about the relationship between knitting and well-being (such as this one), and the consensus is pretty clear: knitting has positive effects on mental health. Simply put, knitting gives our mind a mini-vacation that allows for some well-deserved metal R&R. On top of working as a stress reliever and natural anti-depressant, knitting also improves dexterity and coordination. So maybe it’s about time to see what all the fuss is about, drop the TV remote, and pick up some knitting needles.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way first — gardening provides the opportunity to grow vegetables and fruits that are (wait for it) good for you! Additionally, less obvious health benefits of tending a garden include light exercise, hand and arm strengthening, and the absorption of vitamin D from the sun. Others believe that gardening can improve self-esteem and confidence, while also acting as a natural antidepressant. Don’t know where to begin planning a garden? Here are 5 tricks to growing your first vegetable garden.
Crafting, like knitting, is known for its psychological health benefits. Articles like this one stress the positive effects of projects like scrapbooking and quilting, comparing the crafting state of mind to meditation. Some people even believe that engaging in creative activities could slow down dementia and protect against aging. This should be reason enough to start on that DIY Pinterest project you pinned months ago — now is your time!
4. Swimming (And Other Low Impact Sports)
Activities such as swimming, golf, and cycling are great hobbies to pick up for a number reasons. For one thing, they are physically beneficial while remaining low impact and easy on the joints. Sports help with flexibility, toning muscles, and maintaining a healthy heart and weight. Exercise classes and teams can also be a great social outlet, improving confidence and providing the opportunity to meet new people.
The hardest part to any new hobby is taking the plunge and diving right in, but we say go for it! Whether you decide to spend significant time on your new hobby, or just a couple hours a week, hobbies are a great way to ignite your creativity and improve your mind.