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5 Surprising Ways Hobbies Help Promote Good Health
March 15, 2022
Did you know that engaging in a hobby can have a positive impact on both your physical and mental health? Research shows that people who regularly engage in activities they enjoy are more likely to have lower stress levels, a lower heart rate, and an improved mood. They also report feeling more productive and less bored due to spending less time reflecting on the stressors in their lives.1
A hobby is defined as anything you do regularly for pleasure or entertainment. That could be reading, cooking, gardening, yoga, hiking, fishing, restoring antique cars, volunteer work, and so on. Whatever you choose to do, the benefits to your health and well-being can be substantial. That’s because as people age, health can decline, making activities you may have formerly enjoyed, such as running or cycling, more difficult or too hard on your joints. Other life changes, like no longer driving, can leave people feeling cut off from friends, family, social, religious, or community groups and activities. For many, the inability to engage in activities they previously enjoyed can lead to mental and emotional withdrawal, which can precipitate an overall decline in health. That’s where a hobby can help by inspiring joy, purpose, and creativity at any age.
Below are five ways a hobby can benefit your health and well-being by:
1. Introducing new experiences: A hobby can challenge you to open yourself up to new people and experiences, as you create new memories. Don’t be afraid to get a little outside your comfort zone.
2. Stimulating intellectual growth: Any activity that requires focus and concentration promotes brain health. However, if you’re looking to push the envelope, consider joining a local trivia team, learning a new language, tutoring or mentoring.
3. Counteracting boredom: The transition from work to retirement can leave many people wondering how they will fill their days. Large amounts of unstructured time following decades of overscheduling can feel daunting. A hobby can help provide structure to your day or week, and you get to decide how much time you devote to it.
4. Connecting with enthusiasts: Hobbies can help you stay connected to others who share your interests. Seek out local groups, online forums or national organizations associated with your chosen hobby or pastime.
5. Having more fun: No matter what you choose to pursue, make sure you’re having fun. There’s a reason why laughter is considered the best medicine.
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